DVD Honeydripper [DVD]  [English] [Region 1] (DVD 6266358),
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Honeydripper [DVD]  [English] [Region 1]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Director John Sayles (LONE STAR) takes a journey back to racially segregated Alabama for this provocative feature. The year is 1950, and Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis (Danny Glover) is a club owner whose establishment, the Honeydripper Lounge, has fallen on hard times. With the club about to close, Tyrone decides to take one last gamble, announcing that the legendary Guitar Sam is to make an appearance at the Honeydripper. When Guitar Sam is a no-show, Tyrone calls on a young guitar player named Sonny (Gary Clark Jr.) to impersonate the errant star, hoping that none of his patrons will notice and the club will earn a late reprieve.
Sayles's plot is interweaved with plenty of racial tension and a blunt illustration of the rich/poor divide in America during these turbulent times. HONEYDRIPPER builds slowly towards the inevitable climax--the concert at Tyrone's club--with Sayles demonstrating his usual masterly eye for character study and his meticulous attention to detail in both set design and costume. The director stirs a little music history into the plot as he hints at how the South's passion for R&B and blues would ultimately lead to the birth of rock & roll, and the film's soundtrack is filled with gloriously uplifting tunes. The excellent cast features a reliably great turn from Glover, who is ably supported by an eclectic bunch of actors, including Charles S. Dutton, Keb' Mo', Stacy Keach, and Mary Steenburgen. Sayles brings his ample knowledge of African American history to the fore once again (see also: SUNSHINE STATE), providing plenty of food for thought, and some highly entertaining musical interludes, as he adds another fascinating entry to his wide-ranging cinematic canon.
- for brief violence and some suggestive material
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 200016DV
Danny Glover, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dutton, Mary Steenburgen, Gary Clark, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Vondie Curtis Hall, Stacy Keach, Walter Stacy Keach, Stacey Keach, Kel Mitchell, Keb' Mo', Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Sean Patrick Thomas
"The film evocatively charts a time and place where change has been a longtime coming and buoyantly imagines a turning point where, at least musically, anything is possible."
Los Angeles Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "All the strands that fed into rock 'n' roll -- R&B, blues, jazz, gospel and country -- run through the action, finally coming together in the jam session that forms the film's triumphant unfettered climax."
"[T]his is a warm, sweet-natured movie....Glover holds the centre with weary dignity, and there's a touchingly vulnerable performance from Yaya DaCosta..."
Sight and Sound
3 stars out of 5 -- "Throw in a fledgling R&B soundtrack and earthy photography courtesy of Mike Leigh regular Dick Pope, and you've got a gentle, enjoyable musical fable."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]s always with Sayles, the good stuff is in the characterisations. Glover is a treat as Pine Top, and there's a fine comic turn from Charles S. Dutton as his long-suffering side-kick..."
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Music & Arts
Lisa Gay Hamilton
Charles S. Dutton
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