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Harriet (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by steve jaros, Nov 7, 2019 at 6:00 PM.

  1. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
    Title: Harriet

    Tagline: Be free or die

    Genre: History, Drama

    Director: Kasi Lemmons

    Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles, Joe Alwyn, Tim Guinee, Deborah Ayorinde, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Tory Kittles, Omar J. Dorsey, Zackary Momoh, Mike Marunde, Claire Bronson

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 125

    Plot: The story of Harriet Tubman, who helped free hundreds of slaves from the South after escaping from slavery herself in 1849.

     
  2. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    Saw "Harriet" today. The story of Harriet Tubman is an unimpeachable one, a story of courage in the face of evil.

    Unfortunately, the movie isn't nearly so flawless. While the lead character is excellent, most of the other actors turn in wooden, formulaic performances. There is little to no depth or character development. And the technical aspects of the film ooze "TV afternoon special" not a real film. The score rises heroically when one of the good guys in on the screen, and plunges mournfully when one of the bad guys is, etc. Just too by-the-numbers. Wish a better director had been at the helm for this one.

    C+
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I almost say it the other day, but, something came up. Now, I know I have to see this film in the coming days.:)
     
  4. Message #4 of 10 Nov 10, 2019 at 1:08 AM
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019 at 1:13 AM
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I saw this last weekend and loved it. It's possible for historical dramas where we already know what is going to happen to be technically well-made but feel dry. This was not that at all. It felt propulsive and exciting to watch throughout, I thought everyone was great in it and it was so well-crafted. It makes you wonder how it's even possible that Hollywood waited this long to make a Harriet Tubman movie, which seems impossible, because it's such a great, important and compelling story. But I think this result was worth the wait.

    It's not quite my favorite thing of the year personally, but extremely outstanding, and I would be totally on board with major Oscar success for this film. If Cynthia Erivo were to win, she would become the youngest EGOT in history, and her performance here is compelling enough to believe she warrants that honor for sure. I would also welcome a Picture nomination.

    I'd really like to go see this again, but doubt I will make it given how crowded the theatrical marketplace is about to become. However, I will certainly buy it for my collection when the Blu-ray is released next year.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Cicely Tyson played Tubman in a TV Mini-Series about 40 years called "A Woman Called Moses". A pretty good TV movie. I plan on seeing this movie in the next couple of days.
     
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  6. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    My whole family liked it a lot! A- for us.
     
  7. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Upstate New York pride!

    If you ever find yourself in the Finger Lakes region, I highly recommend visiting the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, NY. It includes the house where she lived from 1859 through 1911, the old age home that she helped found and was later admitted into for the final couple years of her life, and the Thompson A.M.E. Zion Church where she attended services.
     
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  9. JoeStemme

    JoeStemme Extra

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    Kasi Lemmons' straightforward biopic on Harriet Tubman tells an important story in a largely conventional manner. What elevates it is Cynthia Erivo's determined performance as the 19th & 20th centuries' civil rights pioneer (and one to this day). Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard's screenplay, while compelling at times, tries to fit in a bit too much. As a result, it flattens the momentum too often. There are also a few too many easy sops to modern audiences, anachronistic dialogue and behavior be damned.
    As good as Erivo is, she too rarely gets a chance to (literally) catch her breath, before the cutaway to the next scene. Indeed, the strongest scene is at the climax when Tubman (Erivo) and her slavemaster Gideon (Joe Alwyn) square off face to face. The scene is long enough to play out. The enormity of Erivo's lifetime of sacrifices play out on her face and every breath her weary body has endured.
    John Toll's cinematography brings a grandeur to the proceedings, abetted by a decent Terence Blanchard score. When given the opportunity, most of the cast delivers strongly, particularly Clarke Peters and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Tubman's parents. HARRIET is a well meaning and well acted movie, but, doesn't quite rise to the level of its heroine.
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Tubman got hit on the head, which made her a little bit loco. This would influence her motives. But it's essential to have a loco motive if you are starting up a railroad.
     
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