Black or White
“Black or White” is the story of a grandfather (Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply. With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds in which nothing is as simple as black or white.
“Black or White” is a powerful movie that deals with touchy topics such as racism and what it means to be a good parent. Kevin Costner turns in an excellent performance as Elliot Anderson, as does Octavia Spencer as Rowena Jeffers. Anderson’s daughter died in childbirth, leaving Anderson and his wife little Eloise (Jillian Estell) to raise. Eloise has a black father (André Holland) named Reggie, and it is his mother Rowena who becomes involved in a legal battle for Eloise after Anderson’s wife dies. Eloise calls her grandmother “Grandma Wee Wee.” Anderson, having lost both daughter and wife, is determined not to lose his granddaughter, but his drinking could seriously hamper any chance he has at keeping custody of her. As he admits to his perceptive granddaughter, “I am lost.”
Despite dealing with an important topic, the language and drug content in the film are heavy, primarily drinking and a bit of drug use. We are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to “Black or White.”