The second cinematic adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic novel “The Color Purple” is an admirable reworking of the Broadway musical version. Fantasia Barrino is terrific in the central role of the long-suffering Celie, but hers is just one strong performance in a riveting ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson, Coleman Domingo and Danielle Brooks. It’s a tuneful and moving film that suffers only from curiously poor lighting in crucial scenes. “The Color Purple” is a soulful salute to feminist empowerment.
Director George Clooney’s adaptation of the bestselling non-fiction novel “The Boys in the Boat” tells the notable true story of the rowing team from the Washington Huskies that overcame considerable obstacles to compete in the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. “The Boys in the Boat” is well-meaning, beautifully produced, and competently directed, but the end result is a standard inspirational sports drama.
Automaker and racing mogul Enzo Ferrari gets the biopic treatment in Michael Mann’s soapy sports drama, “Ferrari.” Adam Driver plays the brash entrepreneur; Penelope Cruz is his put-upon wife and Shaileen Woodley is his longtime mistress. While the racing scenes are stunning and the acting solid, the drama in “Ferrari” is curiously inert.
The harrowing Netflix ‘drama “Society of the Snow” tells the same true survival story that was depicted in the 1993 Ethan Hawke drama, “Alive.” This Spanish language entry is about the Uruguayan Rugby team whose plane crashed in the remote Andes in 1972. “Society of the Snow” is a chilling portrayal of personal fortitude in the face of extraordinary odds.