REVIEW: Black Nativity Movie Warms The Heart
Langston Hughes’ celebrated play “Black Nativity” will grace the big screen in Theatres everywhere on Thanksgiving Day. It’s wrapped with a message so strong that it will warm the hearts of all who go to see it. Not only does it capture the richness of Hughes’ dynamic writing and creative skills but it also depicts the ways in which life can bring people of all backgrounds together in the strangest yet miraculous ways.
[VIDEO] Find out what inspired Jakes & Lemmons.
T. D. Jakes, Executive Produced & Kasi Lemmons Directed this timely holiday film and as you may have imagined, they both were definitely inspired by the playwright Langston Hughes to bring the heartfelt story of Baby Jesus to life. See for yourself in this clip that shows scenes from the original play performed by members of the Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts in New Jersey.
Clip From Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts performing Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity”. (Source: Youtube)
The cast includes Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Forest Whitaker, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Vondie Curtis- Hall, Luke James and newcomers Jacob Latimore and Grace Gibson. There’s also a host of other talented actors and actresses that the movie just wouldn’t be complete without. For a complete list of the full cast & crew click here.
The movie is set in Baltimore, MD and moves on to Harlem, NY. At one point, Forest Whitaker describes Langston Hughes’ love for Harlem by quoting him: “I’d rather be a lamppost in Harlem than Governor of Georgia…” Amazing quote! Therefore, if you love checking out the aesthetics of buildings and natural scenery, you’ll be excited to see all that takes place in the background as this holiday story unfolds.
Angela Bassett wore stunning pieces in this film. I won’t give too much away but you won’t help but notice how glamorous she looks in each and every scene.
Forest Whittaker cleans up well and wears the finest of suits and a few other surprises that are sure to impress you.
Costumes were eye-catching and very telling of different eras and walks of life as the movie brilliantly captures the past, present and future of the real reason for the season.
The singing was phenomenal in this film. Jennifer Hudson’s voice is unmatched and just pierces the soul. Luke James offers passionate singing and will leave you wanting more. Several characters that you’ve followed for years will surprise you with their singing ability. Newcomer Jacob Latimore has such a sweet voice and pure disposition that it’ll leave you wanting to hug your sweet child just a little bit closer. Nas adds an edge to the film with his meaningful poetry/spoken word sprinkled throughout the film.
Mid-way through the movie you’ll know that the Black Nativity” Movie Soundtrack is a must-have because the songs and the lyrics hit home for everyone.
The movie includes a heart-wrenching rendition of Walter Hawkins’ “Be Grateful”. You’ll be surprised with when, where and how the song is performed in this film.
Order a copy of the soundtrack by clicking here!
The film is definitely appropriate for the entire family. There are great messages to be learned including faith, forgiveness and family. We all have someone who we need to forgive or someone that we pray and hope will forgive us. It starts with a little bit of understanding followed by a lot of effort to make things right.
After Thanksgiving dinner, grab your family and friends and support this film and its message. “There’s something for everyone,” says Kasi Lemmons, Director, in a recent interview about the film. Don’t take our word for it, go see if for yourself!
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance)
Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes