Soul Food, movie review, film review, entertainment

Michael Maynez photo

"Soul Food"

"Soul Food" is not only the movie that shows you exactly what soul food is, but also that proceeds to show how a whole family can revitalize their souls by just looking inwardly to how soul food can hold you together. Irma P. Hall plays the matriarch who not only holds her family together, but has managed through the years to hold on to the house where all her family has grown-up. Even from her sickbed she manages to control, with her power of love. What a feast for actresses this turns out to be, if we had three sisters in "A Thousand Acres", we have them here again in the guise of Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox and Nia Long and they are a delight to behold and experience. Each one fulfills her characterization to the hilt. The warmth, the sensitivity with which all their problems are resolved, makes for a movie that won't have a dry eye in the house.

Brandon Hammond, as the young son of one of the sisters, relates the incidents through his young eyes, and what eyes they are, he covers dialogue that was never written. His scenes with his grandmother are particularly evocative. Vanessa Williams has the most difficult role, being a hard-nose career woman. She can be glacial and beautiful and still command the screen with aplomb. George Tillman Jr. has directed with a warmed heart, a firmed hand and a believability that is down to earth, and why not he also wrote the script. A shrewd move by 20th Century Fox.

Especially in a weekend when a Bear is getting raves in "The Edge". And when DreamWorks, a new studio decided to unveiled its first flick, the by the numbers "The Peacemaker". Didn't anybody tell Steven Spielberg, that the summer of the big blockbusters was over and that we were into fall? Now we will all have to wait for the picture that should have led the parade, "Amistad", for DreamWorks.

Soul Food
20th Century Fox
Produced by: Tracey E. Edmonds
Written and Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.
With: Venessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Jeffrey D. Sams, Irma P. Hall, Gina Ravera, Brandon Hammond
Rated: R
Novel published by: Harper Paperbacks

To contact Michael send e-mail to
To main index
Web Site by Alan Case
Original Date Saturday 27 September 1997
Updated Sunday, 28 September, 1997