Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.
Co-written with siblings Joie and Cinqué Lee, Spike Lee's CROOKLYN is a semi-autobiographical portrait illuminating the life of the lively Carmichael family and their vibrant Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Schoolteacher and loving Carmichael matriarch Carolyn (Alfre Woodard) runs a no-nonsense household, working hard to keep the lights on and raise her nine-year-old daughter Troy (Zelda Harris) alongside her 4 rowdy brothers with little help from her sensitive, struggling jazz-musician husband Woody (Delroy Lindo). Troy proves adept at holding her own while navigating adolescence amid the fertile chaos of one dynamic Brooklyn summer in 1973. Joie Lee conceived the high-spirited CROOKLYN screenplay as a lyrical celebration of her Brooklyn childhood and, together with her brothers, helped develop her story in honor of their mother who died when Joie was 14 years old. Featuring one of the best soundtracks of the 90s, co-starring music from the Stylistics, Sly and the Family Stone, the Staple Singers, Johnny Nash, Curtis Mayfield, Cymande, the Chambers Brothers, the J.B.'s, The Delfonics, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and so much more. —Mae Moreno
On the verge of classic
This was the first movie done by Spike Lee that I have ever seen, and I saw this movie by accident. Out of all of his films, why is this one of the least known? It is worth seeing, because so many things work. It's definitely one of the most thematic movies I have ever seen, and I can definitely relate to many of Spike Lee's memories. It is sad, but it is also hopeful. Alfre Woodard was awesome, and I definitely think that she is one of the best unrecognized actresses in the US today. Delroy Lindo played his character well too. The relationship between Troy and her brothers was especially memorable and so universal! The best scenes in the movie showcase the children in front of the television. This movie was on the verge of greatness but it didn't capture it just because some parts of the movie were melodramatic and drawn out. The movie itself was about 15 minutes too long.
- May 1, 1999
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