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Friday, April 20, 2007

GREENLIGHT #130: Perfect Stranger (with "Monster's Ball" and "Introducing Dorothy Dandrige")

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Ann and Les wish they were strangers to the movie Perfect Stranger (2007) but, alas, they had to see it. They think it’s almost sad that Halle Berry would have read this script and said anything like “this will work for me.” It’s a tired story of a female reporter who goes undercover to try to trap a killer – and she does so by dressing provocatively and furtively sending suggestive emails. How clever. Bruce Willis plays the man in question and, while not great, has enough charm to keep working after the film. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends Ms. Berry in her oscar-winning performance in Monster’s Ball (2001.) Here she offers a truly strong portrayal of a woman whose husband, played by Sean Combs was just executed and then she ends up in a new relationship with one of the jailers, played by Billy Bob Thornton who participated in the execution. It’s not a warm and fuzzy movie – and you’ll probably find it hard to watch the bigotry of Peter Boyle character but it’s extremely well-done. Ann also recommends another film featuring Ms. Berry but this one’s a little less harrowing – though still troubling. In this film, Berry gives us the life-story of the first black woman nominated for the best-actress Oscar, Dorothy Dandridge. Berry is impeccable as she goes through her love affair with famed-director Otto Preminger played by Klaus Maria Brandauer and deals with her ever-loyal (and ever hopeful) friend Earl Mills (who wrote the original story and is played by Brent Spiner .) It’s a lovingly told story by director Martha Coolidge called Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999.)

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