Thursday, February 28, 2008

Three by Three

Three things I liked about the new A Raisin in the Sun.

  • The three female leads. This is high-quality, beautifully done old-school melodrama acting. It's the acting version of one of those beautiful pieces of Shaker furniture, exquisitely crafted and wonderfully old-fashioned. The chemistry and rapport between Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald in particular was just great to see. And who knew, when she burst on to the Broadway scene fifteen years or so ago in Carousel, that McDonald would prove to be such a wonderful actress in non-musical roles?

  • The set design and costuming. Whoever designed this film did a great job of evoking the time period - the tiny apartment, the old and beat-up frying pan, the creaky stove, that Charlie Brown plant, the faded house dresees, all combined to create a very real sense of place.

  • The score - melodramatic and sentimental in all the right places, but inventive and not at all intrusive. A great job. I've never heard of Mervyn Warren before, but I intend to look him up.

Three things I did not like about A Raisin in the Sun

  • Sean Combs. It's his story, really, in the end, and he can't act. He's not horrible, but next to the three women he just sticks out like a sore thumb. I admire the fact that he got the revival done, and this film, and that he brought this classic of American literature back, but do wish he would have had the self-awareness to realize that someone else would have made the play and film that much better.
  • Too many commercials (I watched on delay, actually,so this really didn't effect me, but I liked this film a lot, so I'm grasping at straws here).
  • Some of the opening up - the scene at the university kind of called attention to itself as a way to get other settings into the story beyond the apartment.

Until Whenever


Roger Owen Green said...

Puff Daddy was on Broadway with these women, and they outshone him there, too. Haven't watched it, BTW; on the DVR.

Tosy And Cosh said...

Well worth seeing- don't delete. Did you see the Broadway production? If so, I envy you!