She goes from stern and strong-willed as she urges her son to find work to warm and desperate once she's pleading for her son's life.
This is an early performance for Winfrey, and she'd find more presence in better projects later. Winfrey never plays herself in the movies. And yet in Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time," she's literally larger than life, appearing as a giant in the sky dressed in chain mail and a massive blonde pillow of hair spewing Oprah-isms. But Ava DuVernay doesn't cast her to play a charismatic goddess.
Instead, she's there to do what Oprah does best.
She brings hope, spirit and positivity to the film, and when she's talking to the film's main character, she has a gift of sounding as though she's talking directly to you. Winfrey gave her all for the adaptation of Toni Morrison's "Beloved," showing sadness and anger in equal measure on screen. She even went method and simulated the experience of being a slave in preparation. But the film was a sprawling and overlong epic as handled by Jonathan Demme, and the its failure at the box office sent Winfrey into a "depression. Winfrey plays a small but significant role in Ava DuVernay's civil rights drama "Selma.
She quietly and just barely holds her head up to recite the Preamble of the Constitution and prove her civil knowledge. But it's devastating to see someone even like Winfrey humbled by pervasive racism. In this HBO movie, Winfrey plays a woman searching for a mother she never knew. Henrietta Lacks was the unwitting donor of a tissue sample that was eventually used as a cure for polio and countless other medical advances.
But after years of lies and cover ups from the medical community, the Lacks family has grown untrusting and paranoid.
Winfrey plays Henrietta Lacks' daughter as unpredictable and volatile, and her performance anchors a movie about how an African-American woman battling her own paranoia comes to terms with her heritage and family's legacy. In "The Butler," Winfrey walks a fine line between sweet and motherly -- and even unlikable. TV Series 25 days ago. TV Series a month ago.
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