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“Oprah Winfrey Presents Their Eyes Were Watching God, the story of a remarkable and resilient woman’s quest for love and fulfillment based on the best-selling book by Zora Neale Hurston. Academy Award® winner Halle Berry (Best Actress 2003, Monster’s Ball) stars as the beautiful Janie Crawford, who embarks on an emotional and dramatic journey of self-discovery. Refusing to compromise in spite of society’s expectations, Janie endures two stifling marriages until finally finding love in a passionate romance with a much younger man. In one of the greatest, most lyrical love stories ever written, Janie experiences all that life has to offer, from unbelievable triumph to unspeakable heartbreak. Be inspired again and again by this timeless story of passion, romance, and the spirit of true love.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is rated TV-14.
Their Eyes Were Watching God has a lot going for it. For a TV production, everything looks like it was made for a feature film. The sets are great, the locations are beautiful, and the acting is first rate. The story is even interesting as Janie goes from man to man searching for love. However, the movie is not accessible to everyone. It is aimed so squarely at women that I can’t imagine many men watching it without being coerced. It’s almost Pride and Prejudice in the 1920’s South.
Despite being a definitive chick flick, I do recognize that there are some good performances here. Halle Berry carries the film as Janie Starks. She’s able to play everything from a teenager to a woman in her late thirties convincingly. This is also probably the dirtiest she’s ever been in a role. I’m not talking Monster’s Ball / nekkid dirty. I’m talking seeing Halle in a pig sty, covered in dirt, and swept away by a hurricane. (Where are those weather controlling mutant abilities when you need them?) She’s supported by a strong cast including Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Joe Starks. He’s believable as a man that Janie could fall in love with all the way up to a guy that would curse her upon his death bed. Michael Ealy is also good as Tea Cake, the young man that could either sweep Janie off of her feet or play her for a fool. He seems likely to do either in the film.
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