Ric Roman Waugh, 2013
I found it hard to believe that the Academy snubbed Eve’s Bayou for an Oscar Nomination. It was easily one of the best films of the year, and ironically, it was better than all of the Best Picture nominees.
In the tiny town of Eve’s Bayou, a girl named Eve is struggling to deal with all that she knows about her family’s past and present. Her dad has had an affair with every woman in town, and, apparently is abusive of Eve’s older sister. Eve’s aunt seems to be cursed — she is psychic and all three of her husbands have died. Her older sister Cicely tried to kill her. If right now you are screaming “He’s giving four stars to another “dysfunctional family” movie!”, cut it out. I am not. Eve’s Bayou is far beyond dysfunctional family movies like Home for the Holidays, Marvin’s Room (which is actually pretty good) and The Myth of Fingerprints. This movie does not try to charm or amuse. It presents the story of a troubled family, and treats it not with pity or sarcasm, but genuine respect and sympathy — and makes us feel the same.
Accompanied by magnificent acting, editing and directing (the latter courtesy of first-time director Kasi Lemmons), Eve’s Bayou becomes a great film. It is original enough to truly stir your emotions. At the end, it leaves you with a thought to ponder on your own. It is heart-breaking and soul-healing at the same time; it is sad, but full of hope of better things to come.
True, the Academy overlooked Eve’s Bayou, along with Jurnee Smollett’s performance as Eve and Debbi Morgan’s turn as the psychic aunt. But you shouldn’t.
-- Eugene Novikov
|Starring:||Debbi Morgan, Lynn Whitfield, Jurnee Smollett, Samuel L. Jackson, Meagan Good|
|Directed by:||Kasi Lemmons|