Eye of God [1997]

Genre: Crime, Drama
Produced by Oprah Winfrey, this lush, yet earthy telefilm was adapted from the 1937 novel by Zora Neale Hurston. Set in rural Florida, the story begins several years after emancipation. Janie (a soulful Halle Berry) is a dreamy-eyed teenager, who never knew her parents. She was raised by the bitter Nanny (Ruby Dee), an ex-slave, who marries her off to an older man the minute she gets the chance. Mr. Killicks works Janie like a dog, but leaves her alone otherwise (he's abusive in the book). Then Janie meets the courtly Joe (Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Lackawanna Blues), who whisks her away from the muck to the black township of Eatonville. The two proceed to transform the town from a patch of dirt into a real community. Along the way, Joe becomes mayor and Janie a mere helpmate. Except for her friend Phoeby (Nicki Micheaux), the townspeople confuse her sadness for conceit and she ends up lonelier than ever. Twenty years later, Joe dies and Janie takes up with the younger Tea Cake (Michael Ealy, Barbershop). Much like the other literary adaptations with which she's been associated (The Color Purple, Beloved, etc.), this Oprah production boasts an impressive line-up of African-American talent, including Terrence Howard (Crash) as the covetous Amos. A mostly successful mix between suds and substance, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which premiered on ABC, was directed by Darnell Martin, co-written by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan Lori-Parks, and graced with a classy score by frequent Spike Lee collaborator Terence Blanchard. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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"Eye of God Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <http://www.quotes.net/movies/Eye of God>.

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