Black or White online movie review - Great emotional drama throughout. 7/10
Review: As I hadn't heard of this movie before and Costner's previous movies haven't been that great, I wasn't really expecting much from this emotional drama but I must say, I really enjoyed it.
The performances are great and the witty script is full of drama right from the get go. Kevin Costner plays Elliot Anderson, who finds out that his wife has died in an car accident, so he turns to alcohol for comfort. The following morning he hides the alcohol bottles from his mixed race granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell) and he gets her ready for school. As he doesn't know her regular routine, Eloise tells him what to do but he still gets lost whilst driving her to school, because he has never been there before. When he finally drops her off, he returns home to organise the funeral arrangements with his best friend Rick (Bill Burr) and his girlfriend Fay (Gillian Jacobs). Because Elliot is drinking, Rick takes Elliot to pick up Eloise from school, we're he tells her about the tragic accident. At the funeral, Eloise's other grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer), attends with her large family and talks to Elliot about Eloise living with them but he's happy with the way things are. As Elliot struggles to help Eloise with her homework, he hires a tutor, Duvan (Mpho Koaha) to help both of them and he reveals that his daughter died whilst giving birth to Eloise. Elliot then finds out that Rowena wants to sue him for custody, via her brother Jeremiah (Anthony Mackie), whose a hot shot lawyer with high credentials. Elliot then pays Duvan to drive him around, because of his unhealthy drinking habit and he drives him to Rowena's house because he wants her to drop the court case. She accuses him of not wanting Eloise to know her black roots so Elliot mentions that she is going to a good school and she is living in a safe neighbourhood. He also mentions the problems that her son Reggie (Andre Holland) caused there family while he was addicted to crack, which doesn't go down to well. Jeremiah then convinces his sister to play the race card and he hires a black judge to take the case. After the initial hearing, Elliot keeps on drinking while Eloise is seeing a psychiatrist and starts to ask questions about her dad. Reggie then shows up at Elliot's office, asking for money to clear his debts in return for staying out of the proceedings, which will give Elliot a better chance of winning. He asks him to see Eloise because she has been asking for him, so she gets dressed up and waits for his arrival but he doesn't turn up. After another night hitting the bottle, Rowena's family turn up at Elliot's house to go swimming and Reggie sits outside, nervous to join them. Because Reggie didn't see Eloise the night before, Elliot confronts Reggie and he tells him a few home truths. Reggie then spends some time with his daughter and Elliot offers him $25,000 to get clean, which he takes whilst saying that he is off the drugs. Back in the courtroom, Reggie tells the judge that Elliot bribed him with the cash and later on that night, Reggie takes Eloise from Elliot's house. When the maid calls Elliot to tell him about the ordeal, he rushes to Rowena's to see Eloise playing the piano during a musical gathering and he can see Reggie smoking and drinking across the road. After a violent confrontation, he warns him to stay away from Eloise and he tells Rowena the true reason why he gave him the money. Back at court, Duvan tells the judge about Elliot's drinking and Reggie says his rehearsed lines. When Elliot takes the stand, he talks about the problems that he had with Reggie in the past and he's questioned about the time he will be able to spend with Eloise, when he goes back to work. Later on that night, Reggie turns up at Elliot's house, asking for more money and he pulls a knife on Elliot, which leads to a fight. After falling into the pool with a head injury, Reggie goes upstairs to get Eloise. He then sees pictures that Eloise has drawn of him and her grandparents and he sees some old pictures of her mum, which brings him back to his senses. He then goes back to the pool and saves Elliot's life, whilst constantly apologising for the way he treated Elliot's daughter. A week later, Reggie admits that he isn't ready to be a father and that he has to go away to get himself together so Elliot doesn't mention the alteration at his house. Rowena admits that Elliot has Eloise's best interest at heart so she also drops her charges. After a while, Elliot drops Eloise at Rowena's house because he needs a couple of weeks to get himself together but he still wants Duvan to tutor her and take her to school. A warm hearted film which covers some delicate matters! I personally didn't want the film to end and I found the chemistry between Costner and Eloise, touching. I'm glad to see that the movie made a profit because it really did deserve it. Great Watch!
Round-Up: This movie was directed by Mike Binder who brought you Indian Summer, the awful Blankman, the Upside of Anger and Reign Over Me, which I really enjoyed. He really did put together a great film and he got the most out of the actors, so I have to give credit when it's due.
Budget: $9million Worldwide Gross: $21.5million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their dramatic movies starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Jillian Estell, Anthony Mackie and Gillian Jacobs and Jennifer Ehle. 7/10