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Eldergays: Why did The Color Purple Lose

Why did The Color Purple lose all of it Oscar Nominations. Had the academy had sufficient of Steven Spielberg? Bias? Too diff from novel? What exactly went wrong?

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by Anonymousreply 188May 27, 2023 3:26 AM

I know the answer to this.

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by Anonymousreply 1May 22, 2023 12:18 AM

Hollywood doesn't go for booze or dope or black fantasies directed by Jewish people or stunt casting of enormous television hams who cannot act.

by Anonymousreply 2May 22, 2023 12:24 AM

R2 Who Oprah? cause she was good in this. The Color Purple is an incredible film and Whoopi should have become the first black woman to win Best Actress. Instead they gave it to Halle Berry in a competent but not spectacular performance.

Also what does race have to do with telling a story besides the point of view. You seem to suggest a Jewish man shouldn’t have directed this subject matter.

by Anonymousreply 3May 22, 2023 12:27 AM

Anti-white. Anti-man. Anti-straight.

by Anonymousreply 4May 22, 2023 12:32 AM

Even Whoopi knew Geraldine Page would win, she was the sentimental favorite. Even though the movie was quite sanitized, the source material was still quite explicit for the time and therefore controversial. Out of Africa was going to be the safe pick, and the epic sweep guaranteed the run in technical categories.

by Anonymousreply 5May 22, 2023 12:34 AM

R4 They are very little white people in this film.

by Anonymousreply 6May 22, 2023 12:37 AM

Besides the obvious racial issues, the Hollywood community felt some type of way about Steven Spielberg at that time. He was at the forefront of the blockbuster movie movement and was making exponentially more money than anyone had before. The conventional wisdom was that Spielberg was a formulaic director who was more skilled at manipulating an audience rather than creating an actual work of art. His movies were often compared to amusement park rides rather than well-made quality films. The Color Purple was perceived as his attempt to gain some artistic integrity among his peers, and they felt he was overreaching. So the film was snubbed by Oscar voters to put him back in his place. Not until Schindler's List did Spielberg's critics finally give him credit for making a "grownup" movie and he earned respect commensurate with his financial success.

by Anonymousreply 7May 22, 2023 12:39 AM

You can debate the merits of the film, but Whoopi was incredible. I love Geraldine Page in the Trip to Bountiful, but I wish Whoopi had won.

And Whoopi ended up winning Supporting for Ghost a few years later, when she should have won for The Long Walk Home (although one could debate she was lead in that).

by Anonymousreply 8May 22, 2023 12:39 AM

I remember being devastated at the time.

Oprah was new to the national scene. She had been a talk show host only in Chicago.

All the cool people dug Whoopi’s one woman show. It was a big hit.

There was, surprisingly, a backlash from the black community…they didn’t like the negative portrayal of black men, which is inevitable in a novel about a girl raped & impregnated by her own father, & battered by her own husband.

It’s my understanding that Alice Walker herself wasn’t thrilled with Speilberg’s adaptation, but has conceded that books & movies are totally different media.

by Anonymousreply 9May 22, 2023 12:40 AM

R6, I hope you mean few.


by Anonymousreply 10May 22, 2023 12:41 AM

I think the entire thing was seen through the lens of “why is this white, Jewish man making this picture”? And if it had been any consideration at the time, you could’ve added “straight” to that description - but of course at the time, no one even thought a lesbian might direct a film so, no need….

He was not the right person to helm this project and I still think this film plays like Song of the South.

by Anonymousreply 11May 22, 2023 12:53 AM

R9 I heard about that but what’s funny is this film remains wildly popular among black households. It’s black peoples Wizard of Oz.

by Anonymousreply 12May 22, 2023 12:54 AM

The scandal wasn’t just that it didn’t win anything, but that it was nominated in a boatload of categories and STILL didn’t win anything.

by Anonymousreply 13May 22, 2023 1:01 AM

Racist voters?

by Anonymousreply 14May 22, 2023 1:04 AM

R13 Exactly.

by Anonymousreply 15May 22, 2023 1:04 AM

Well, cinematically, it was masterfully directed. And very well cast. It deserved to win many awards. It was a scandal that it didn’t.

That’s an interesting point, r12. I guess people got over it.

by Anonymousreply 16May 22, 2023 1:06 AM

I remember seeing Oprah interviewed after the awards and she said she knew she wasn’t going to win because Roger Ebert told her, but otherwise, “oooh, SCANDAL” and rolled her eyes.

by Anonymousreply 17May 22, 2023 1:06 AM

Some scenes played better in the film than in the book (I'm thinking of the dinner table scene where Celie finally stands up to Mister).

But Pauline Kael was spot-on in her criticism of the film:

[quote] Spielberg’s version comes from a man who filters everything through movies. He sees Georgia in 1909 the way a European director might; visually, the picture suggests Song of the South remade by Visconti. When Celie (played in the early scenes by Desreta Jackson and then by Whoopi Goldberg) and Nettie (Akosua Busia) do their jive talk—clapping their hands in fast, intricate rhythms as they chant—it seems to be going on in a faraway, magical kingdom, in a field of pink flowers from the florists who supplied the daffodils tor David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago. Spielberg has all this facile, pretty camera technique, but he can’t find an appropriate tone, and so the incidents don’t click into place. The movie is muffled, bombed out, and a gooey score by Quincy Jones calls attention to the emotional void— Jones seems to have been waiting all his life to metamorphose into Max Steiner.

by Anonymousreply 18May 22, 2023 1:13 AM

It wasn’t necessary that Steven Spielberg had become phenomenally successful in a short amount of time, because Hollywood had given Oscars to young directors like William Friedkin for The French Connection

The issue was that Steven Spielberg had become successful in elevating GENRE pictures. Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and ET the Extraterrestrial were all genre movies that redefined Hollywood and public tastes. The Academy which was very, very old still preferred to give Oscars to movies in the classical tradition: Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Amadeus, Out of Africa. Spielberg doing Color Purple was seen as being a calculated attempt at making a traditional Oscar film, and the Academy tends to view that calculation cynically. Martin Scorcese, another brilliant director who came out of genre, was repeatedly rebuffed by the Academy, most notably in 2003 when they gave the Oscar to Roman freaking Polanski whom, a tarnished figure though he is, had at least made a genuine, personal film out of his firsthand experience in the Holocaust with The Pianist, over Martin Scorsese’s flawed and calculated Oscar-bait Gangs of New York. The Academy rebuffed Scorcese again the following year with the similarly calculated Aviator. It finally gave him the Oscar for The Departed, which was a return to his natural genre.

by Anonymousreply 19May 22, 2023 1:18 AM

R18 When Pauline Kael was right, she was RIGHT!

by Anonymousreply 20May 22, 2023 1:18 AM

I saw the movie before I read the book. Steven gutted the essence of the novel, and inserting the scenes of Harpo being a buffoon and the unnecessary musical number near the end took away from the power of the story. Whoopi was great as Celie though. Oprah plays the same role in every other film or television project she has ever worked on. Slipping into the black vernacular, using “dem”, “dese” and “dose”. She did this in NATIVE SON, BREWSTER PLACE and every other thing she’s been in. A very one dimensional actress.

Kael totally was on point.

by Anonymousreply 21May 22, 2023 1:21 AM

Oprah and Margaret Avery probably cancelled each other out, but the Oscar was Hustons to lose. She won most of the precursors and was just about perfect in Prizzis Honor.

That did give us Margaret Avery’s notorious in character Oscar campaign letter to the trades and the Huston anecdote that Oprah is a cunt to Huston and goes out of her way to ignore her.

by Anonymousreply 22May 22, 2023 1:26 AM

Here’s the notorious Avery Oscars letter/ad in character.

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by Anonymousreply 23May 22, 2023 1:28 AM

R22 Huston says that Oprah has snubbed her, even literally turning her back at parties and stuff, even since that Oscar night. Oprah is a nutjob.

by Anonymousreply 24May 22, 2023 1:33 AM

I didn't read the thread so maybe someone said this already:

The film was considered racist in its depiction of black men. The NAACP even condemned the film's nominations.

The Academy thought they were doing the right thing racially by ignoring it. (plus the Spielberg dislike etc. too)

by Anonymousreply 25May 22, 2023 1:41 AM

Out of Africa was a terrible choice. Prizzi's Honor and Kurosawa's Ran were brilliant.

Love Color Purple, but the movie is flawed. It was Spielberg's first "prestige" film, so there was no doubt a lot of pressure to do it right. Still it's a great movie.

Margaret Avery was good, but they water her character down. And you can't help but think about the other women who were considered (Tina, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan and Phyllis Hyman) and how they would have played it.

by Anonymousreply 26May 22, 2023 1:42 AM

Patti would have SLAYED as Shug. Margaret Avery lacked fire.

by Anonymousreply 27May 22, 2023 1:45 AM

[quote]they water her character down


by Anonymousreply 28May 22, 2023 1:46 AM

All of these posts prompted me to order the book. Thanks for the thread, OP.

by Anonymousreply 29May 22, 2023 1:56 AM

The Color Purple is pure schmaltz, that's why.

Years after seeing it in the theater I watched it on tv where it seemed like a much better movie. I think it was because it was less emotionally telescoped and over the top on the small screen.

by Anonymousreply 30May 22, 2023 2:06 AM

How did they water her character down, Shug. I’ve never read the book.

by Anonymousreply 31May 22, 2023 2:06 AM

Shug is a big lez-lez in the book, less so in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 32May 22, 2023 2:13 AM

That’s scene with she and Celie kissing is pretty dam lezzy. But I get it they must have watered down more explicit scenes to make it mainstream.

by Anonymousreply 33May 22, 2023 2:15 AM

I never got why they cast a non-singer as Shug and dubbed her when they had such great singers to choose from.

(and Avery isn't that terrific acting wise that you think oh I can see why they needed her.) He took chances with unknowns Oprah and Whoopi why not Phyllis Hyman.

by Anonymousreply 34May 22, 2023 2:17 AM

I heard Phyllis Hyman came close to landing the role of Shug, but she had creative differences with Spielberg and the producers, so they decided to go elsewhere in casting the part. Tina Turner was the first choice. She turned it down and told Quincy Jones, "I wouldn’t do a black picture if I was dying! It took me twenty years to get out of that black shit and I ain’t going back!"

Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan were considered for the role as well. Patti would've been pitch-perfect as she previously played a Shug Avery-type character in A Soldier's Story a year earlier.

by Anonymousreply 35May 22, 2023 2:29 AM

I thought Margaret Avery was terrific. Subtle performances are so underrated. With that being said they could have made one positive black male character since they deviated greatly from the novel.

by Anonymousreply 36May 22, 2023 2:34 AM

Yeah, but The Color Purple is not a story about nice black men.

by Anonymousreply 37May 22, 2023 3:00 AM

R37 I never said it was.

by Anonymousreply 38May 22, 2023 3:02 AM

I never heard that Tina Turner said anything like that. I thought her response was more like “I’ve lived that story and don’t want to revisit it”

by Anonymousreply 39May 22, 2023 3:04 AM

It wasn't a great year for movies. "After Hours" was fun. I think my favorite was "Letter to Brezhnev," which holds up well.

by Anonymousreply 40May 22, 2023 3:10 AM

[quote] I never heard that Tina Turner said anything like that. I thought her response was more like “I’ve lived that story and don’t want to revisit it”

That quote I posted at R35 came directly from Quincy Jones' autobiography when he discussed approaching her for the role of Shug Avery.

by Anonymousreply 41May 22, 2023 3:20 AM

I respectfully disagree with Kael’s review. Children, even in the most dire circumstances, can have times of beauty and happiness with their siblings. I have seen it in person a lot over the years. I loved Avery in this role. She is vulnerable and fierce. she was also pretty and skinny which likely helped her get cast. Oprah was never better in anything. She was NOT one note.

by Anonymousreply 42May 22, 2023 3:21 AM

[quote] I respectfully disagree with Kael’s review. Children, even in the most dire circumstances, can have times of beauty and happiness with their siblings. I have seen it in person a lot over the years.

I don't think Kael is saying that children in dire circumstances can't have times of happiness and beauty with their siblings. She's referring to how Spielberg staged and filmed that scene as if it were a fairy tale in a faraway land. He struggled to find the right tone for the film because the material was too alien to him. As she said further in her review, "Spielberg’s problem is that he can’t give the material the emotional push of that earthy folk style of Walker’s. He just doesn’t have the conviction that she has."

by Anonymousreply 43May 22, 2023 3:53 AM

To me the film’s strengths outweigh its flaws and it ultimately shines. It is a bit schmatzly and at time weirdly fantastical. But that also gives the films it’s magic. What I think people undervalue is how Spielberg creates a time and place that is rooted in history but also feels unique. I can’t fully put into words I’m saying. It’s sort of metaphysical. It makes the performances better because the characters seem like they only exist in this film while still being plausible and relatable.

by Anonymousreply 44May 22, 2023 4:03 AM

My memory is that it was because

The Color Purple was seen as sappy

Sydney Pollack was overdue to win

Meryl Streep was at the height of her popularity and the Academy loved Out of Africa

by Anonymousreply 45May 22, 2023 4:07 AM

I read the book before seeing the movie and thought that they did an incredible job of translating it to the screen. The book is written, completely in letters written by Celie and her sister. And it starts off in very broken English with bad spelling and terrible grammar and gets better as Celie gets older and learns to read and write. But most of the book, Celie is basically silent out of fear of being beaten by her husband, Albert (Mister) so Whoopi Goldberg had to play that character with very few lines for the majority of the movie and she was amazing. And I don't think they really left anything scandalous or controversial out. Celie and Shug shared a single kiss, but I don't think it was even implied that they had sex in the book.

The love story was really between Celie and her sister.

I saw the musical on tour about a month ago and it is dreadful. They completely changed the story and the ending, and I won't give away any spoilers, but I walked out thinking "God, I hope they never make that into a movie"

The movie is coming out this year. ☹️

And Oprah's inclusion was a twist of fate. She had a regional talk show, but the Color Purple came out in 1985 and her national talk show that catapulted her to fame didn't start until 1986. So it wasn't stunt casting. In 1985, she was just Oprah Winfrey, not yet OPRAH®.

FWIW, when I posted how much I was disappointed in the musical, all of my black female friends on Facebook posted how disappointed they were to hear that, because they hadn't seen it, but the book AND the movie, were among their favorites.

Only one black male friend posted, and that was to say that Alice Walker has turned into a conspiracy theorist nutcase. The rest of them probably never saw, or read the book. They're mostly anarchists who would rather watch war documentaries than a drama and definitely weren't into discussing musical theater.

As for why it why no Academy Awards, 🤷🏻. It's certainly held up better than anything else that was nominated that year that I can recall.

As excellent as Whoopi Goldberg was, Oprah deserved the Oscar more than anyone. Every scene she is in is so indelibly ingrained into most people's minds that it's a travesty that she wasn't acknowledged for that performance. And like I said, she was not famous yet.

by Anonymousreply 46May 22, 2023 4:20 AM





by Anonymousreply 47May 22, 2023 8:04 AM

I agree with r44. It has the typical Spielberg schmaltz but it also the Spielberg magic. Even if the sisters' interplay seems like it's in some fantasy land, it works for the film, because they love each other, and for Celie, being with her sister is magical for her. Which is why the ending works so well . It's earned and it's powerful.

I think Margaret Avery was very good as Shug, but now that I've learned Phyllis Hyman was in the running, I wonder what a Hyman Shug would have been like. I think she would have been great because she would have brought both the sexiness and messiness that the character needed.

Danny Glover is excellent in this film. My one major criticism of the film is that Mister's about-face is a bit too drastic. The book details Mister's redemption in greater detail.

by Anonymousreply 48May 22, 2023 8:27 AM

Spielberg wanted Linda Evans to play Miss Mille and for Chaka Khan to play Shug Avery.

Khan knew her limitations and turned down his repeated attempts to cast her.

Evans was on board with the role, but at the time Dynasty was in its heyday and her trusted mentor Sherwood Schwartz advised her against taking the role because of a long running feud with Spielberg over some firewood that had been promised but never delivered.

by Anonymousreply 49May 22, 2023 8:43 AM

My guess is Hyman’s “creative differences” were related to her drug use and depression. I doubt Chaka could have stayed sober long enough to film her scenes, either.

by Anonymousreply 50May 22, 2023 10:51 AM

R25 is correct.

Before THE COLOR PURPLE came out, certain groups cried racism when Spielberg was selected to direct it.

When the movie came out, certain groups cried racism at the "unflattering" depiction of black men.

Then when the film failed to win a single one of its 11 Oscar nominations, certain groups cried racism.

This movie created controversy at every turn.

There were so many black organizations that just hated it -- and didn't see it as being a reflection of black culture

It wasn't really a movie that blacks could rally around; it just created divisions within the black community.

The film was a smash hit (#4 of 1985, after BACK TO THE FUTURE, RAMBO II, and ROCKY IV) because of white people..

Same reason why THE COSBY SHOW was the #1 show in America around the same time.

That's why the Academy awarded the film a whopping 11 nominations, but when the controversy proved too great, they did what they always do -- circumvent controversy.

Thus, the movie went home empty-handed.

The black community finally embraced it in the '90s, when Oprah became more than just a trashy talk show host and seemed to have the Midas touch.

by Anonymousreply 51May 22, 2023 10:51 AM

R12, I mean no offence whatsoever but black people also still watch The Wiz. Which speaks to the paucity of films made for black audiences. Though hopefully this has improved.

by Anonymousreply 52May 22, 2023 11:00 AM

Also, Whoppi didn’t deserve to win for this. People are confusing storytelling for acting. Yes, dramatic things happen to and around Miss Celie, but in the film, the character is a cypher, just a gateway to the proceedings, which is why the supporting characters like Shug Avery and Sofia walk away with the film.

by Anonymousreply 53May 22, 2023 11:05 AM

[quote] Yes, dramatic things happen to and around Miss Celie, but in the film, the character is a cypher

Don't agree. Celie is completely realized by Whoopi. She says more with her face than she would have with a hundred more lines.

by Anonymousreply 54May 22, 2023 11:11 AM

R50, I believe you are right. I found this snippet in a Vibe magazine article:

[quote] Phyllis’s fight or flight instinct also cost her opportunities that could have changed her career. Phyllis was in the lead to play Shug Avery for the movie adaptation of The Color Purple. The casting directors loved her, but when she joined Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah in a meeting with Steven Spielberg, she blew it. Her former co-manager Sydney Harris recounted the day to biographer Jason Michael, recalling Glover emerging from the meeting and telling her, “Your girl acted out. She was trying to run the audition. She was ordering Steven around.”

[quote] “That was Phyllis’s M.O.,” Harris explained. “When she got scared, she tried to take over things so she could regain control. She lost the part because they could not wrap their heads around being with Phyllis for five months in North Carolina while they shot the film.”

As usual with Phyllis, she self-sabotaged another opportunity that would’ve brought her major mainstream success. It’s too bad because I think she would’ve been wonderful as Shug Avery.

by Anonymousreply 55May 22, 2023 12:43 PM

Avery was too Diahann Carroll and not enough Patti Labelle for the role. And there’s a very explicit scene in the novel where Shug teaches Celie how to masturbate. Obviously that wouldn’t have worked. In the end Steven made a movie about black people for white people.

by Anonymousreply 56May 22, 2023 1:19 PM

Phyllis Hyman was aware of her emotional problems, but she ultimately could never conquer them. She committed suicide in 1995, leaving a note that said "I'm tired. I'm tired. Those of you that I love know who you are. May God bless you."

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by Anonymousreply 57May 22, 2023 1:35 PM

I just want to say that most black people at the time DID go see this film despite the NAACP protest. It’s not true that blacks discovered this later on. I remember watching a vid of Louis Farrakhan admonishing the film and he asked his congregates had they seen the Color Purple. This was at the time of its release. Everyone there raised their hand. Most successful black centered stuff becomes huge successes because it becomes a hit with white audiences and 90% of black audiences. That’s what made the Cosby Show more than a just mere hit but a ratings tyrant. It was popular with white audiences and 100% of black audience. Now something like the Blind Side many black folks have never seen. I would even argue that the Color Purple was more popular with black audiences at the time than say The Help.

by Anonymousreply 58May 22, 2023 3:56 PM

When Elizabeth Banks brushed off The Color Purple, the clap back she got was from black commentators.

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by Anonymousreply 59May 22, 2023 4:00 PM

The movie was the fourth highest grossing film of 1985, which would be unthinkable for an adult literature adaptation today.

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by Anonymousreply 60May 22, 2023 4:02 PM

R60 and Out of Africa was right behind it at number 5. Walker’s book won the Pulitzer in 1983 and sold very well. Such a scenario isn’t so unthinkable nowadays.

by Anonymousreply 61May 22, 2023 4:26 PM

A View to a Kill at #13?

James Bond films are usually among the Top 10 of the year.

by Anonymousreply 62May 22, 2023 4:32 PM

This was exactly the period when Bonds films were starting to fall it off. The Terminator came out the previous year and American audiences wanted bigger and splashier explosions. Die Hard came out a few years later and cemented that fate. Bond did make a comeback in the late 90s.

by Anonymousreply 63May 22, 2023 4:36 PM

Too depressing and a downer movie

by Anonymousreply 64May 22, 2023 4:49 PM

Well first they awarded Geraldine Page a Lifetime Achievement Award for a movie and performance no one remembers today.

by Anonymousreply 65May 22, 2023 4:54 PM

I love hate watching OOA. Glamorizing colonialism. Redford plays the Englishman role like he’s Gary Fucking Cooper. It’s also one of Meryl’s most mannered performances. A movie about white people who colonized Africa wins over a movie about black people trying to live in America. Such bull…

But at the end of the day, the film industry has to appeal to the mainstream audience, even when they’re making projects about people of color. Unfair AF but this is the hand that we’re dealt. I always get hopeful when I see black film projects produced and directed by black artists. We simply have to keep finding ways to make our own films and stop waiting for white artists to do it for us. There’s power in the dollar.

by Anonymousreply 66May 22, 2023 4:54 PM

[quote]Whoppi didn’t deserve to win for this. People are confusing storytelling for acting. Yes, dramatic things happen to and around Miss Celie, but in the film, the character is a cypher, just a gateway to the proceedings

"Whoppi" would have been a well deserved winner. In the book, she is the narrator for the majority of it through letters she's written. But she never speaks. So Whoopi had to make her a real, believable and sympathetic character, without hardly any dialogue. And she did that amazingly. And then when she finds her courage, that scene where she holds a fork to the neck of Mister and curses him, damn. That right there deserved some awards. She did an amazing job of showing a character go from meek and mute to empowered.

Not that different than what Holly Hunter did in The Piano

by Anonymousreply 67May 22, 2023 5:10 PM

R65 I remember the performance, and Page deserved that Oscar and at least four others. She was an amazing actress, a master class.

by Anonymousreply 68May 22, 2023 5:28 PM

R32 I didn’t appreciate that lesbian uncomfortable scene in the movie. I watched this at the movies with my mom when I was 12 yrs old.

by Anonymousreply 69May 22, 2023 5:31 PM

In the book I believe they were bumping pussies.

by Anonymousreply 70May 22, 2023 5:41 PM

One guess. Just one..I bet you can guess.

by Anonymousreply 71May 22, 2023 6:03 PM

I didn’t know what acting tics were until I saw Geraldine Page in A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL.

by Anonymousreply 72May 22, 2023 6:04 PM

Whoopi over acts when she loses.

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by Anonymousreply 73May 22, 2023 6:08 PM

R73 She could have taught Angela a thing or 2 about losing gracefully. No matter what pain was felt there is no excuse for not even clapping for JLC.

by Anonymousreply 74May 22, 2023 8:13 PM

Would Whoopi have really wanted to win? Her first film role was the lead in a Spielberg adaptation of a hit novel, that’s already next level. Winning the Oscar would have put such pressure and expectations on her and made follow-ups like jumping Jack flash even more embarrassing.

by Anonymousreply 75May 22, 2023 8:34 PM

Maybe if she’d won, she would have been offered better roles, r75…

by Anonymousreply 76May 22, 2023 8:41 PM

R76 I’m pretty sure Whoopi is happy with her career. She scored an iconic franchise in Sister Act, which still holds up and had a few prestige dramas and minor box office in the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 77May 22, 2023 8:46 PM

Like what, R76? Morgan Freeman’s Role in Driving Miss Daisy? Or Denzel’s in Glory?

by Anonymousreply 78May 22, 2023 8:52 PM

R78 She would have scored the lead in Ghost and Demi Moore would have been saying,

“Moesha, you in danger gurl!

by Anonymousreply 79May 22, 2023 9:00 PM

[quote]Her first film role was the lead in a Spielberg adaptation of a hit novel, that’s already next level.

Not to mention that TCP's blockbuster success at the box office landed Whoopi at #8 on Quigley's annual list of Top 10 bankable movie stars, thereby becoming the first and only black woman to have made the list and only one of few blacks, along with Sidney Poitier, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, and Will Smith, who each made the list several times in their heyday, including topping it at one point.

She made the list again in 1992 (#6) and 1993 (#9).

Thus, Whoopi has been the ONLY genuine black female movie star. Ever.

And probably always, because the industry has changed. Quigley's stopped keeping tabs of movie stars' bankability after 2013, when Jennifer Lawrence topped the list (one of very few women to have done so) and Denzel landed at #5.

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by Anonymousreply 80May 22, 2023 9:01 PM


Too Long/Didn't Finish Watching

by Anonymousreply 81May 22, 2023 9:04 PM

In the early '90s, Whoopi was also the highest-paid actress in Hollywood for a while, until Demi Moore took over in mid-decade, then Julia took over in the latter '90s.

by Anonymousreply 82May 22, 2023 9:05 PM

R80 I’ve always said that. Taraji P Henson has come close riding hit Tyler Perry films after scoring an Oscar nod for Benjamin Button, culminating in the huge box office success of Hidden Figures. I also include the fact she was on the highest rated tv drama at the time,Empire, when it was no longer taboo for movie stars to be tv stars. Has V. ever been able to lead a film?

by Anonymousreply 83May 22, 2023 9:21 PM

[quote]Thus, Whoopi has been the ONLY genuine black female movie star. Ever.

I'm sorry, but Zoe Saldana is the second highest grossing actress of all time, only after Scarlett Johansson. And she was the lead in all of the films that made that money.

People may not recognize that she's a black actress because in one franchise she's a blue alien and then another she's a green alien, but she's still the second highest grossing actress, and lead.

I don't know if she could open a movie herself, but she is a genuine movie star.

by Anonymousreply 84May 22, 2023 10:06 PM

I'm sorry, but no other black actress has accomplished the following:

- Whoopi headlined movies.

- Whoopi was Oscar-nominated twice and won once. For the longest time, until 2012 when Viola Davis received her second nod for THE HELP, Whoopi was the only black actress to be nominated more than once.

- Whoopi made Quigley's list of bankable movie stars a few times in the late '80s/early '90s. The only black actress to do so.

- Whoopi was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood in the early '90s.

- Whoopi was the first black person to EGOT.

by Anonymousreply 85May 22, 2023 10:27 PM

Trailer for the new version is out.

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by Anonymousreply 86May 22, 2023 10:27 PM

[quote] no one even thought a lesbian might direct a film so

R11 *Dorothy Arzner has entered the chat*

by Anonymousreply 87May 22, 2023 10:44 PM

Years ago, a friend told me of a review that called the Spielberg film "the Happy Negroes ride at Disneyland." I've yearned to find the actual review ever since (if it exists).

by Anonymousreply 88May 22, 2023 10:46 PM

Oprah and Whoopi fell out over the Ted Danson - blackface scandal. Whoopi was a frequent guest on Oprah's talk show up until that moment, then stopped being on her show for about fifteen years.

by Anonymousreply 89May 22, 2023 10:55 PM

R86 Looks like Halle Bailey is having a banner year! I hope her eyes don't fall off her head in all the excitement.

by Anonymousreply 90May 22, 2023 11:01 PM

People forget that after The Color Purple, movies were made around Whoopi and her name was above the title. This was a big deal back in the '80s when there were so few parts for Black actresses. Diana Ross getting Mahogany and The Wiz after Lady Sings the Blues were the few occasions where a Black actress was able to get a lead role, and a film essentially built around their character.

Jumpin' Jack Flash, Burglar and Fatal Beauty may not have been great films but they were sold on Whoopi's name. Personally I really enjoy them They are fun movies. Obviously Whoopi wanted to be a comedy/action star like Eddie Murphy in the Beverly Hills Cop movies.

It wasn't until Ghost that her career re-ignited.

by Anonymousreply 91May 22, 2023 11:07 PM

It boils down to 3 main reasons.

1) Competition. As detailed in this thread, there were multiple nominees in key categories that were favored over TCP. There are no real snubs among TCP's losers that year because the winners were considered well-deserved. It's even hard to make a case for Whoopi, who truly deserved to win, when a legendary 7-time nominee without a win was her competition. Absolutely no one was shocked that Geraldine Page won.

2) Spielberg backlash. Up until TCP, SS's films weren't considered high art like the usual Oscar fare, and many still felt he didn't overcome his popcorn-fueled and box office-driven approaches to filmmaking with TCP. He made schlocky kid's movies, low-brow sci-fi and movie about a shark before this -- the old guard weren't about to start handing him Oscars for his first "serious" film.

3) Racism. This wasn't the whole reason or even the main one, but it absolutely played a part, especially since the major winner was about colonialism and starring a bunch of white people in a film with "Africa" in the title. Consider too that the old guard at that time included a lot of Golden Age of Hollywood geriatrics, and this was decades before any hint of DEI efforts. The voting members of the Academy in 1986 included a ton of old racists who grew up with Jim Crow and segregation as the norm. They weren't going to vote for TCP when the likes OoA was in the running.

by Anonymousreply 92May 22, 2023 11:37 PM

F Murray Abraham was so fucking hot even if he laid it on incredibly thick.

You know Meryl was probably thinking it was her after that "Greatest actress in the English language" bit.

We need more Anne Bancroft's at ceremonies. Could you imagine Anne listening to Jamie Lee Curtis' speeches?

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by Anonymousreply 93May 22, 2023 11:40 PM

That's interesting R89 and makes a lot of sense. That fiasco was so bizarre, presumably the lack of a video recording allowed Ted and Whoopi's reps & careers to emerge unscathed. RuPaul, Vanessa Williams, and Halle Berry were in the audience, I wish they'd do an interview and recount their collective shock.

by Anonymousreply 94May 23, 2023 12:28 AM

I always assumed it was because it was about colored purples.

by Anonymousreply 95May 23, 2023 12:38 AM

R94 I told Whoopi to serve face not charcoal style.

by Anonymousreply 96May 23, 2023 12:40 AM

[quote] It's even hard to make a case for Whoopi, who truly deserved to win, when a legendary 7-time nominee without a win was her competition

Yeah. Imagine losing 7 times or is it 8?

by Anonymousreply 97May 23, 2023 1:14 AM

Not a good enough picture. Too over the top, eventually trite- honey sweetened with maple syrup over ice cream that melts. Much of the acting is hammy too although I love Opra’s Sophie.

by Anonymousreply 98May 23, 2023 1:18 AM

R98 Who in the film did you think was hammy?

by Anonymousreply 99May 23, 2023 1:19 AM

[quote]I remember the performance, and Page deserved that Oscar and at least four others. She was an amazing actress, a master class.

Oh Geraldine Page was big ole ham bone. The crew loved her because they didn't have to break down a set when they were thru because she had already eaten all the scenery.

by Anonymousreply 100May 23, 2023 1:24 AM

I hope some theater buffs will comment about the Broadway musical and how it compares to the original movie and book. The trailer is lukewarm, but I am happy for Fantasia, as she is a true talent that deserves this big break.

by Anonymousreply 101May 23, 2023 1:47 AM

R101 The trailer looks good. Obviously a completely different genre and tone. That Fantasia, good God that woman got so much soul.

by Anonymousreply 102May 23, 2023 2:28 AM

I don’t hate the trailer for the musical Color Purple but it seems very unnecessary and just a retread of performances from the original.

by Anonymousreply 103May 23, 2023 2:40 AM

R103 Nothing about this trailer seems like the original except the basic plot line.

by Anonymousreply 104May 23, 2023 2:42 AM

Interestingly, the new Color Purple doesn't look that much different from Spielberg's.

And Taraji as Shug but she gets top billing? Interesting.

by Anonymousreply 105May 23, 2023 2:44 AM

R105 She is the biggest name in this film. Fantasia got the coveted AND.

by Anonymousreply 106May 23, 2023 2:48 AM

It wasn't good good.

by Anonymousreply 107May 23, 2023 2:51 AM

Was the Color Purple even that good of a book? I liked the epistolary form, but it struck me as rip off of Zora Neale Hurston shot through with 70s feminist ya ya sisterhood.

by Anonymousreply 108May 23, 2023 3:11 AM

Racism, OP.

by Anonymousreply 109May 23, 2023 3:20 AM

R109 has it. Both Black and White media types celebrities and Hollywood suits got pissed off because he had the temerity to translate Alice Walker's brilliant novel, into film. I loved it. He was accused of racism for his negative portrayal of Black men in the movie. But that's how Alice wrote it.

by Anonymousreply 110May 23, 2023 3:27 AM

Did you guys discuss this?

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by Anonymousreply 111May 23, 2023 3:32 AM

Rae Dawn Chong falling head first down the trap door always seemed like such bad slapstick.

by Anonymousreply 112May 23, 2023 3:34 AM

Margaret Avery was a dignified and poetic presence.

I suspect racism, jealousy of Speilberg, discomfort with the lesbian content, and the fact that nobody had actually read the book doomed the movie from the start. It was too out of reach with the Academy's comfort zone at the time. I myself think it is a wonderful and touching movie, the entire cast was beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 113May 23, 2023 3:38 AM

Yes, r111, it's at r86.

by Anonymousreply 114May 23, 2023 3:40 AM

R104 you seem to be alone in that opinion. I honestly feel like this new Color Purple seems way more joyous from the trailer. I haven’t seen the musical. Are there snappy ditties about being raped by your father and getting beat by your husband? The wonders or racism and being dirt poor? Maybe they will make a musical of Schindler’s List next.

by Anonymousreply 115May 23, 2023 3:55 AM

Thank you, R114. I just saw it promoted at aother site and at first I thought they were promoting the long defunct Broadway musical. I didn't know this film version existed until an hour ago.

by Anonymousreply 116May 23, 2023 3:58 AM

R115 Hi there. The Color Purple is fiction. Schindler’s List well ya know…The Holocaust. Both Steven Spielberg and Alice Walker have co-signed this and are exec producers. I don’t exactly get your grievance.

by Anonymousreply 117May 23, 2023 4:00 AM

I’ve seen the musical, read the book and seen the movie. I loved the book in the movie and hated the musical. There were so many problems with it. Problem number one was that the actress that played Celie who is meek and timid head by far the strongest force in the show. And they didn’t hesitate to use her singing from the beginning. So she always felt like a very powerful character despite the fact that between songs, she was very quiet. And then they change the ending and it was an abomination. I won’t post any spoilers, but some of them address some of the criticisms described above. But they weren’t in the book. And they didn’t fit into the narrative.

But I liked the trailer for that musical. It seems like the big songs that Celie sing are fantasies in her head. They couldn’t do that on stage properly, so it just seemed really out of place. So maybe the musical will not be as terrible as the Broadway musical. And hopefully they don’t make a faithful adaptation of the stage show. Because it’s good as the performances were, the story was terrible. All of the emotional highlights of the movie couldn’t be translated to stage. They use the heart of the same dialogue, but if it’s not in a cornfield, it sort of loses its impact.

And I hope Fantasia Barrino knocks it out of the park.

by Anonymousreply 118May 23, 2023 6:52 AM

I hope the new film doesn't look like the Lifetime movie the trailer makes it look like. So very clean and digital. I miss movies shot on celluloid.

by Anonymousreply 119May 23, 2023 7:51 AM


First the word is "Loose" not "Lose"

Second. what is it with DL's fascination with this film? This is the third or more post on CP asking basically same fucking question.

The Color Purple lost all the Academy Awards it was nominated for including best picture for reasons extensively gone over ad nauseum.

Much of it came down to various things for each category ranging from stiff competition to nominee shooting herself in the foot so to speak. You can also add a healthy dose of what it always comes down to with AA, Hollywood politics.

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by Anonymousreply 120May 23, 2023 8:00 AM

[quote] to nominee shooting herself in the foot so to speak

Which one was that and why? Sorry, I'm not au fait with any of this so don't know who to search for to find this out.

by Anonymousreply 121May 23, 2023 8:10 AM

Whoopi G. said things she shouldn't and Margaret Avery wrote things she shouldn't have as well.

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by Anonymousreply 122May 23, 2023 8:18 AM

R122 Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 123May 23, 2023 8:37 AM

F. Murray Abraham was considered hot? Really?

Have tastes changed a lot since then?

Can anyone confirm? Did gay men of the 80s really lust for this?

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by Anonymousreply 124May 23, 2023 11:33 AM

R112 this was part of the buffoonery that I mentioned upthread. Too much comic relief in a film about abuse, misogyny and a woman’s realization of her worth.

by Anonymousreply 125May 23, 2023 11:58 AM

Let’s not forget this was the mid-1980s…Reagan won his second term in a landslide. Americans were openly racist, sexist & homophobic. I remember being joyous that it even got made into a movie.

I liked the musical.

And I thought I saw on the trailer that Alice Walker worked on the screenplay?

by Anonymousreply 126May 23, 2023 12:06 PM

R126 what is that supposed to mean? If America was so racist and sexist how did Walker’s book become a best-seller that won the Pulitzer?

by Anonymousreply 127May 23, 2023 12:08 PM

It means it was a miracle the book got made into a movie.

by Anonymousreply 128May 23, 2023 12:11 PM

Tons of best-selling books are made into movies, there's nothing "miraculous" about a movie studio trying to cash in on an already profitable idea. It would have been miraculous if Spielberg had refused to take part in the musical adaptation after Walker's anti-semitic beliefs became public knowledge...

by Anonymousreply 129May 23, 2023 12:19 PM

Not enough purple.

by Anonymousreply 130May 23, 2023 12:20 PM

A primarily all black cast, featuring a lesbian kiss, was revolutionary for mainstream cinema in the 1980s.

[quote] Walker's anti-semitic beliefs

Ok, you have an axe to grind with Walker. I get it.

Still doesn’t change the fact that she wrote perhaps the greatest American novel of the last quarter of the 20th century. 😛

by Anonymousreply 131May 23, 2023 12:24 PM

More on Walker’s antisemitism, please? I must’ve been hiding under a rock…

by Anonymousreply 132May 23, 2023 12:29 PM

No, R131, the inclusion of the kiss at the expense of depicting the erotic lesbian relationship at the heart of the book was actually a conservative move.

R132 it would appear so...

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by Anonymousreply 133May 23, 2023 12:34 PM

R133, please list five Hollywood movies that featured a lesbian kiss before 1985.

Even the word “lesbian” was verboten. Hmm…much like today.

by Anonymousreply 134May 23, 2023 1:01 PM

Lesbians are all over the place today.

by Anonymousreply 135May 23, 2023 1:57 PM

Jesus, you gays really are tasteless. This movie is pure schmaltzfest crap of a well written, if melodramatic novel. Did not deserve to win anything. Spielberg hasn’t made a movie that doesn’t feel like diabetes since Jaws.

by Anonymousreply 136May 23, 2023 2:01 PM

R136 Yikes your are a harsh critic. This and Schindler’s List are masterpieces. And growing up black, The Color Purple has so many quotable lines. Yes it a harrowing drama but because the black experience has been rooted in trauma since our arrival in this country your older relatives often found humor in the craziest ways in everyday life.

“You ain’t go no talent, Shug got talent”

“You think you can fuel that engine a lil faster” right before Sofia knocks shit out of the mayor who slapped her.

Even the way Shug says you sho is ugly.

by Anonymousreply 137May 23, 2023 2:07 PM

Male lesbians are, r135.

Actual lesbians have to accept girldick.

Which means actual lesbians are more oppressed today than they were back then.

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by Anonymousreply 138May 23, 2023 2:47 PM

I still think that EMPIRE OF THE SUN is his best film. Or at least it’s my favorite film.

by Anonymousreply 139May 23, 2023 3:16 PM

The Color Purple is one of the worst adaptations of a book, after of course " The Scarlett Letter" with Demi Moore. Spielberg improved as a director, but this book was out of his league at the time. He was afraid of the subject matter clearly, or else he would have fleshed out the characters more. As it is his film goes from Disney to racism slapstick to awkward same sex kiss. Black men look like dirt in this movie. They are either brutes or weaklings. They are not complex or real. They might as well have shiny teeth and buck eyes. As for the women they are same mammies filmed since " Gone With The Wind" except their is no complex nobility about any of them. I agree with Kael that Spielberg sees every film through the lens of film study. His ideas are as insulting sometimes as " Birth of a Nation" because he doesn't understand black culture or even care to examine it. As for the lez kiss, the black audience I went to see the film with were disgusted by the kiss, some even booed. Two reasons for that: one the kiss was presented as through Spielberg wasn't sure how to film it or how far it should go so it came across without power or meaning. Second the black audience watching the film had not read the book, and was clearly stupid to the ways of the world- reacting like some moronic preacher instead of an intelligent movie goer. As my mother would say " Read the book- it's always better than the movie."

by Anonymousreply 140May 23, 2023 3:32 PM

Fuck off, R136

by Anonymousreply 141May 23, 2023 3:33 PM

Alic Walker allegedly walked out of the theater at the premiere of the film. Or so it was said.

by Anonymousreply 142May 23, 2023 3:54 PM

R134, I assume you're young or you would have known about lesbian films from the 80s.

Personal Best, 1982. They did a hell of a lot more than kiss. I saw it in a well known movie theater chain upon its release.

Desert Hearts, 1985. Once again full love scene and naked actresses. Rented on VHS in 1986 from Blockbusters.

Lianna, 1983. Once again, more than kissing involved. Recorded on VHS so a later viewing for me. John Sayles directed.

The Hunger, 1983. Yes, once again, much more than a kiss. Saw it in the theater upon release.

Silkwood, 1983. I included this because it was a major mainstream Hollywood release and it showed a kiss between Cher and Meryl Streep's characters. You don't get more Hollywood than that.

by Anonymousreply 143May 23, 2023 5:13 PM

R131, please.


Just stop.

by Anonymousreply 144May 23, 2023 6:32 PM

IMDb Trivia says the "feud' between Winfrey and Goldberg arose when Quincy Jones demanded that Spielberg give Oprah more screen time. Also after filming the dinner table scene where Oprah ad-libbed a bunch, Whoopi told her that she had become an actress now, to which Winfrey allegedly responded, "What do you know, this your first movie too!"

Nell Carter and Jennifer Holliday apparently both turned the role of Sofia down and Pam Grier wrote her own song to audition. Nell and Jennifer would've been great, not sure about Pam.

Alfre Woodard would've also done a great job as Celie.

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by Anonymousreply 145May 23, 2023 6:38 PM

Has anyone seen the new viral vid of Oprah, Fantasia, Cookie etc watching the trailer of New Color Purple film, in their bathrobes?

by Anonymousreply 146May 23, 2023 6:48 PM

Pam Grier would've been GLORIOUS as Shug Avery.

by Anonymousreply 147May 23, 2023 7:03 PM

Glenn Close shoulda played Shug.

by Anonymousreply 148May 23, 2023 7:06 PM

Yes, sir r147, she would have been.

So would Angela Bassett. But she was an unknown entity at the time.

by Anonymousreply 149May 23, 2023 7:06 PM

What exactly is bad about Margaret Avery’s performance. Why are y’all riding her so hard. She understood the assignment and delivered.

by Anonymousreply 150May 23, 2023 7:08 PM

[quote] Also after filming the dinner table scene where Oprah ad-libbed a bunch, Whoopi told her that she had become an actress now, to which Winfrey allegedly responded, "What do you know, this your first movie too!"

This was the first scene shot, and they were allowed a lot of freedom because of it, so I very much doubt this story.

by Anonymousreply 151May 23, 2023 7:09 PM

Oprah confirmed that Whoopi said that to her after they did a take of that scene. I don't know if Oprah responded back with that quip, though. Skip to 7:26 in this interview with Steven Spielberg.

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by Anonymousreply 152May 23, 2023 7:48 PM

Rae Dawn Chong’s assessment of Oprah, partially quoted in the IMDb page, is pretty funny.

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by Anonymousreply 153May 23, 2023 8:23 PM

R153 I once read an article where she called Oprah the greatest brown noser the world has ever seen. In further detail she said basically Oprah finds the most powerful person in the room, becomes best friends with them and then uses it to her advantage and becomes even richer.

by Anonymousreply 154May 23, 2023 8:25 PM

I’ll give you Silkwood, r143. I saw that movie but oddly have no recollection of the kiss you mention.

But none of the other movies you listed were exactly mainstream. I should have clarified with “major” or “blockbuster” or “Oscar nominated” movies.

I still contend that women kissing in a big Hollywood movie was shocking when TCP came out. I don’t see that as controversial.

by Anonymousreply 155May 23, 2023 8:40 PM

R154 Sort of like how a new prisoner will approach a group of bullies, sucker-punch the baddest one, and send a message to the other cons that there's a new badass on the block.

by Anonymousreply 156May 23, 2023 8:51 PM

R156 ?????????????

by Anonymousreply 157May 23, 2023 9:09 PM

I wonder how a conversation between super Jew Spielberg and raging antisemite Walker goes?

by Anonymousreply 158May 23, 2023 9:17 PM

R158 I think that happen after the making of this film sometime in the late 90s. She was married to a Jewish man for about 15 yrs after all.

by Anonymousreply 159May 23, 2023 9:25 PM

What kiss between Meryl Streep and Cher in SILKWOOD are you talking about, R143? Doesn't Streep (whose character isn't even a little lesbian in the movie and at first is nonplussed at best when Diana Scarwid's character shows up) put her arms around her on the front porch and maybe give her a friendly kiss her on the cheek? There certainly isn't any lesbian kiss in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 160May 23, 2023 9:35 PM

Because the color green don’t always matter, OP.

by Anonymousreply 161May 23, 2023 11:51 PM

R161, Que?

by Anonymousreply 162May 24, 2023 12:28 AM

If I remember correctly, the movie was derided for being akin to a Disney version of the Black experience, quite the opposite of racism. They blamed Spielberg for his bland Technicolor approach to the subject matter. Margaret Avery, with her self-humiliating plea to the Academy members on the trades written in some kind of Black dialect was the another nail on the movies' coffin.

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by Anonymousreply 163May 24, 2023 12:34 AM

I loved this movie. I just watched it a few months ago and still thought it was such a beautiful movie.

by Anonymousreply 164May 24, 2023 12:42 AM

R23 after reading the ad you linked- that is 100% why it lost. I read that ad and it seriously annoyed me, particularly the language she used. It must have caused a huge backlash.

by Anonymousreply 165May 24, 2023 12:50 AM

R43, I interpreted that as to survive what they had to survive they had to imagine themselves far away somewhere else. I don't even know what to say about people objecting to the film because of its portrayal of black men. Isn't that the point? That black girls and women had a really really shitty time of it? (to way over simplify)

by Anonymousreply 166May 24, 2023 12:56 AM

R120 not it's not, LOSE means the opposite of win; loose is the opposite of tight.

by Anonymousreply 167May 24, 2023 1:23 AM

To be clear -- Margaret Avery's cringe-inducing ad was obviously written in the style of Alice Walker's prose in THE COLOR PURPLE, meant to sound like one of Celie's letters to God. But still.

by Anonymousreply 168May 24, 2023 1:27 AM

Shug standing on the porch as Nettie arrives after Mister finally did the right thing is a beautiful moment. She is radiant.

by Anonymousreply 169May 24, 2023 2:17 AM

R167 I thought so but I didn’t feel like arguing with that cunt. He, she, or it is thinking about chose and choose which mean the same thing with one being the past tense. Lose is pronounced looooohse, the same enunciation as the adjective.

by Anonymousreply 170May 24, 2023 2:22 AM

Well similar not quite the same.

by Anonymousreply 171May 24, 2023 2:23 AM

Is Lizzo playing Sofia in the new movie? She should be.

by Anonymousreply 172May 24, 2023 3:40 AM

R172 No.

by Anonymousreply 173May 24, 2023 3:42 AM

Avery's ad/letter was so odd. She was probably in a battle for 4th or 5th place. No way was she close to winning.

Angelica Huston

Meg Tilly


Amy Madigan vs. Avery

by Anonymousreply 174May 24, 2023 5:55 AM

I know I am profoundly disappointed in Tina Turner’s response to Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg regarding her playing Shug. It’s clear that she doesn’t want to be around other black folks. I admire her as a performer but she has issues…but don’t we all?

by Anonymousreply 175May 24, 2023 1:36 PM

Oprah bought the film rights to Toni Morrison's BELOVED in 1987, presumably because she thought it would get her that Oscar, but when she finally got the movie made it flopped big time. I think Demme was just as wrong for Beloved as Spielberg was for Color Purple, and the best performances were by Kimberly Elise and Beah Richards.

Interestingly, the actress who played Nettie in TCP, Akosua Busia, gave O an advance copy of Beloved (via her sister, an English prof at Rutgers) and then O asked her to write a screenplay adaptation, which she did in 1991. Peter Weir wanted to direct it but insisted that Oprah audition for her role (LOL). Harpo productions shopped her screenplay around town until dropping her in favor of Richard LaGravenese with rewrites by Adam Brooks. When Busia read the shooting script she filed for WGA arbitration to get a credit and excoriated Oprah and Harpo for allowing two white men to rely on her work, though everyone denied that LaGravenese and Brooks saw Busia's draft. The WGA ended up crediting all three, with Busia getting first billing. She still went to the press and blabbed about how she was "wronged" and was then surprised when she wasn't invited to advance screenings by Disney.

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by Anonymousreply 176May 24, 2023 1:43 PM

I know it probably has been mentioned but Miss Oprah was one of the main producers of the Color Purple, the musical, when it was on Broadway. Oprah may act like your best girlfriend on TV, but she is a business woman. And she definitely likes to get her own way. Massive ego. And why not? She definitely earned it.

by Anonymousreply 177May 24, 2023 1:43 PM

Oprah is another one who is admirable when you look at how much she’s accomplished but she sounds so insufferable to be around.

by Anonymousreply 178May 24, 2023 1:47 PM

Danielle Brooks (known as Taystee in "Orange is the New Black") is FLAWLESS as Sofia, and far better than Oprah.

by Anonymousreply 179May 24, 2023 1:48 PM

Oprah has to be the Queen Bee.

by Anonymousreply 180May 24, 2023 2:01 PM

Oprah is the same character in every movie that she makes.

by Anonymousreply 181May 24, 2023 3:27 PM

And Oprah went all out for BELOVED. Losing all that weight, getting her VOGUE cover…all of that publicity and preparation. I think she assumed that it was a given that the film would succeed. And when it didn’t, she went back to huffing lobster mac and cheese…it really was this massive ego trip that bit her in her ass.

The book was unfilmable. I couldn’t even get through the first few chapters because Toni’s writing style was too esoteric. She was notorious for going off on tangents and it came across as unfocused. TAR BABY was the only novel of hers that I liked.

by Anonymousreply 182May 24, 2023 3:38 PM

[quote] Years ago, a friend told me of a review that called the Spielberg film "the Happy Negroes ride at Disneyland."

I think we had the same friend because I heard that one too. She runs a very prestigious film school in Los Angeles and that line exemplifies the feeling about The Color Purple in the film community at the time.

by Anonymousreply 183May 25, 2023 4:13 PM

I might be the only human to think Oprah is a weak link in "The Color Purple". Totally wooden.

by Anonymousreply 184May 25, 2023 5:51 PM

R184, “Hell no.”

by Anonymousreply 185May 25, 2023 6:14 PM

The Sophia character is very flashy and showy, with a lot of fiery monologues and dramatic body work and facial expressions. So it's a great fit for a hammy, wooden actor like Oprah, but that's not really good acting. She gave a memorable performance, and gave life to a beloved character, but it's not good acting. Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 186May 25, 2023 11:22 PM

I love the scene at Harpo and Sophia’s wedding where Mister tries to get close to the bride and the women form a group to block his abusive ass. It’s great

by Anonymousreply 187May 27, 2023 3:15 AM

R186 How can one be both hammy and wooden? That doesn’t make sense.

by Anonymousreply 188May 27, 2023 3:26 AM
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