Monday, May 25, 2009

The Color Purple

Lauded for depicting the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, The Color Purple does not show much in the way of family meals, but it does have a wonderful breakfast sequence. Still smitten with Shug (Avery), the woman he was too afraid to marry many years ago, Albert (Glover) brings her home to his farm after her performance and their night carousing in town, expecting his wife, Celie (Goldberg), to both allow him his pleasure and wait on his beloved. When Shug demands breakfast in the morning, Albert, so eager to ingratiate himself, insists upon cooking, though he doesn’t even know how to heat up the stove; but Shug completely rebuffs his efforts, hurling the charred food against the wall while screaming that he’s trying to kill her. Pleased to see her husband suffer abuse for once, Celie proceeds to make Shug a splendid breakfast repast: pancakes with butter, ham steak, fried eggs, grits, biscuits with honey, and coffee. Nervously, Celie slides the tray of food inside the door of Shug’s room, waiting across the hall “to see what the wall gonna look like.” Shug skitters the tray out the door and across the floor, but it is empty when she does so—causing Celie to smile in spite of herself.

Celie: I just stand back, and I wait to see what the wall gonna look like. See what kind of colors Shug’s gonna put on there now.

Released 1985
Directed by Stephen Spielberg
Novel by Alice Walker; screenplay by Menno Meyjes

Starring: Danny Glover as Albert Johnson, Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Johnson, Margaret Avery as Shug Avery, Oprah Winfrey as Sofia, Willard E. Pugh as Harpo Johnson, Akosua Busia as Nettie Harris, Rae Dawn Chong as Squeak, and Laurence Fishburne as Swain

Awards: 1987 ASCAP Film and Television Music Award for Top Box Office Film; 1987 Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Language Film; 1986 Casting Society of America, USA, Artios Award for Best Casting for Feature Film, Drama; 1986 Directors Guild of America, USA, Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures; 1986 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Goldberg); 1988 Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture (Goldberg) and Outstanding Motion Picture; 1986 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director; 1985 National Board of Review, USA, Award for Best Actress (Goldberg) and Best Film-English Language; 2005 Black Movie Awards for Classic Cinema Hall of Fame

Fun Facts: The Color Purple was Whoopi Goldberg’s first feature film and Oprah Winfrey’s first movie.

No comments: