Film: The Color Purple

Opened: December 18, 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny GloverOprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, Akosua Busia, Adolph Caesar, Willard Pugh, Rae Dawn Chong, Desreta Jackson, Laurence Fishburne, Carl Anderson, Grand Bush & Dana Ivey

Despite losing all 11 of its Academy Awards, including Best Picture to the duller Out of Africa, director Steven Spielberg is triumphant with the long-lasting The Color Purple.

Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) suffers at the hands of her husband nicknamed Mister (Danny Glover). After he sends her sister Nettie (Akosua Busia) away, Celie gains strength from Mister’s lover Shug Avery (Margaret Avery) and her stepson’s wife Sofia (Oprah Winfrey).

In their debut film roles, Goldberg and Winfrey define their star power. Playing vastly different personalities, Goldberg grows immensely while Winfrey’s descent is captivating. Glover is also exceptional with Mister’s highs and lows.

There’s many themes explored – including an underutilized lesbian storyline – from Alice Walker’s novel that demonstrate the hardships that black women went through in the early 20th century, including domestic violence and pedophilia.

Final say: An underrated masterpiece. ★★★★★

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