Oscar® winners Kevin Costner* and Octavia Spencer** co-star in this touching comedy-drama based on real events. When two grandparents, Elliott (Costner) and Rowena (Spencer), engage in a heated custody dispute over their beloved granddaughter, the ensuing legal battle forces them to confront their true feelings on race and forgiveness. Can people from two seemingly different worlds find common ground when nothing is as simple as black or white?
*Dances With Wolves, 1990: Directing, Best Picture (Jim Wilson and Kevin Costner, Producers) **Supporting Actress, The Help, 2011
**Shades of Gray: The Making of Black or White
Cast & Crew
It may be helpful - or vexing - to think of "Black or White" as the great grandchild of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"
Sometimes flawed material can be saved by great performances and good intentions.
The film is by no means perfect and its goals are undermined by a sloppy climax and conclusion but it avoids preaching while providing fodder for thought.
A well-intentioned, white-perspective drama like "Black or White" isn't going to change the world, but it might change the terms of an overdue conversation.
This is undeniably well-intentioned, though, and the players are sensitive and sincere.
"Black or White"... is notable for what it doesn't try to do. It doesn't assess America's racial attitudes based on the headlines of the day or use its story... to placate or to inflame.
Good acting and plenty to think about, but a better director than Mike Binder would have made a better film.