Most Important Black Films – #14 Monster’s Ball

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In recent memory, there have been few films that have stirred up the flames and sparked discussions about the lack of roles for black actresses in general, and the portrayal of black sexuality overall, the way that Monster’s Ball has.  The plot revolves around a romance between a former death row security guard and the widow of a man he executed.  On to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  The story’s location (Louisiana) lets you know going in that race was going to be addressed head on in this story.  The presence of two of the biggest names of modern day black America (Halle Berry and Diddy) are all it really needed.

Legacy:  Yeah I know.  We’re getting there, we’re getting there…

Craft:  I remember when I saw this movie my first thought was ‘Great, I thought this was supposed to be a serious movie, and they’ve got one of these young pretty boys in there.’  As the movie went on, I realized, “Man, this cat can really act!”  And I respected Heath Ledger from this movie until the end.

Crossover:  Well, you tell me.  As we all know, Halle Berry won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this movie.  At this point even she’s parodied her tearful acceptance speech, but it was one of those moments that will stay in the Oscar highlights from now on.

Apollo:  Hmm…was there anything shocking in this movie?  Hmm…Peter Boyle was pretty racist…Diddy and Heath both proved they can act…hmm…what else?  Oh yes…MAKE ME FEEL GOOD!!!!   I’ve rarely felt more heated (pun intended) in a crowded movie theater.  I’ve had several friends outside the film game ask me if they really did it.  Actually, the phrasing was more along the lines, “There’s only one way you get the cheeks popping like that!!!”  I obviously wasn’t there and don’t have the answer to that question, but if Halle ever decides she wants to go there again for a film role, I’m available…

Alright, back next time with another ‘landmark’ film.  Until then…

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