8 April 2008 | CC1966
Swing and a MISS...Sorry Oprah! (may contain spoilers)
There are so many things wrong with this movie (if you have read the book), that i don't know where to begin: First let me say that Halle Berry was great as Shelby. But she was more physically suited to play Liz...
Again, if you read the book, you see that Shelby's hair is blonde, and her eyes are blue, and her skin is very fair. There was a flashback (in the book) to when she got lost as a little girl. She was lost for so long because no one knew to look for her specifically-they were expecting to find a child with traditionally black features.
With regard to Lute McNeil: Dorothy West paints a picture of a man who, because of his upbringing, generally hates women (ironically, not his daughters, though); he sees them as possessions and breeders, and moves on when the next lady strikes his fancy. If he stuck to his pattern, Shelby would have gone the way of the all the other women. In the end, I think she saw that. The movie painted him far too sympathetically-you wanted to cheer for him as Shelby's salvation. But Lute as a dangerous man.
The chemistry between Meade and Shelby on screen was sooooooooooo weak-thus making Lute that much more attractive. That's not the way West meant it. And why the screenwriters chose to change his name from Wyler (in the book) to Howell (In the movie) made no sense to me.
And in the book, the little girl died from her injuries after being struck by the car. Hearing Gram say at the end "oh thank heavens, that little girl is gonna be alright" was just plain cheesy.
This was one of the most beautifully written books this century, and as much as I love Oprah, I found her vision of it for TV completely out of step with the spirit of what Dorothy West wrote. If you can, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of West's final masterpiece.