Familial love, culture clash in “Black or White”

A FIRST—Eliott Anderson, played by Kevin Costner, wakes up the morning after his wife’s death to help his granddaughter Eloise, played by Jullian Estell, comb her hair like her grandmother would before going to school in the film “Black or White” in theaters Jan. 30. (Courtesy of Relativity Studios)

By Jesus Figueroa

The love of a grandfather for his granddaughter carries the story of “Black or White” through several clashes in culture.

The twist to the story was a powerful message which is merited from the start of the film.

Elliot Anderson, played by Kevin Costner, loses his wife and is left to care for his granddaughter Eloise, played by Jullian Estell, in their Beverly Hills home.

Costner is spectacular as he is able to portray a complex character who suffers, but has to keep his composure.

Estell captures the audience’s heart with a stellar performance. The time on screen could have been more, but the amount of time she did spend on screen was great.

Eloise’s paternal grandmother Rowena Jeffers, played by Octavia Spencer, wants to take care of Eloise at her home in South Central.

The two families go through a legal battle to gain custody of Eloise.

To make things more difficult for Elliot, Eloise’s estranged father Reggie Davis, played by André Holland, comes back from being out of his daughter’s life and tries to contest for full custody, but a history with drugs keeps Elliot from fully trusting him.

Davis makes his character likable, giving him a flawed feel with good intentions. He makes the audience transition from anger to pity throughout the film.

The story is fascinating, taking on the issue of racism. The topic comes up several times as Rowena brings up the issue of race several times when discussing her granddaughter.

The ending shows a grand climax in the story, although the court scenes stretch the reality of the scenes thin, with the scenes in the court helping bring a resolution to the story.

The climax of the film is impactful and changes the mood of the story as the conflict quickly escalates. The ending is satisfying and fitting.

The film in its entirety has some funny moments, some serious moments and several sentimental moments.

The pace of the film has a steady progression which does not stagger or lag.

“Black or White” opens in theaters Jan. 30 and is rated PG-13.


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