“The Color Purple” (1985) – Whoopi Goldberg is unforgettable as Celie, a poor and humble Georgian who suffers under unthinkable abuse from her father and husband (Danny Glover) for years and years. Celie swallows the constant mistreatment, but we hope that she’ll transform these harmful encounters into some morsels of strength to move on. The problem is she has nowhere to go.
Steven Spielberg adapts Alice Walker’s novel – set at the turn of the 20th century – and he offers a 154-minute runtime to let the story breathe on-screen. About 90 minutes in, you realize that film is really about three women finding their mettle, and Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery deliver touching performances and surprising character arcs too. Goldberg, Winfrey, and Avery rightfully earned Oscar nominations, as the film garnered 11 noms in all.
Admittedly, the score rambles with tiresome Hallmark Channel vibes, but the resilient triad of Celie (Goldberg), Sofia (Winfrey), and Shug (Avery) keeps you entirely engaged from beginning to end.
⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Menno Meyjes
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, and Danny Glover
Runtime: 154 minutes
Warner Bros. Entertainment