Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monster's Ball : African Americans in Cinema (6)

As we take a final push to chronicle all the films in which African Americans have been award Academy Awards for acting.

After looking at the film Ghost, we only have to wait a few more years, instead of a few decades, before we see another African American win an Academy Award for acting. This is when Monster’s Ball (2001) was released.

The movie follows Hank Grotowski, played by Billy Bob Thorton, a widower, who works as a prison guard and Hank’s son, Sonny, played by the late Heath Ledger, works with him at the prison.

They both reside with Hank's ailing father, Buck, played by Peter Boyle who happens to be a racist and who drove his own wife to suicide. Hank hates his father because of how Buck's hate has now become his own, in so far as how he treats Sonny as well as Black members of his neighboring community.

Hank and Sonny help in the execution of Lawrence Musgrove, a incarcerated member of the prison where Hank and Sonny are employed. The prisoner, played by Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, is turned out to be the husband of Leticia, played by Halle Berry, who went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. Leticia’s son is shown to have taken on his father’s murderous traits.

Hank becomes romantically involved with Leticia after her husband’s execution without revealing the fact that his hand was the one who placed her husband in eternal rest.
Tensions mount as Hank’s father, who disapproves of the inter-racial affair, and Laticia discover Hank’s well kept secrets.

As in most films, the climax of the film is where all the excitement is, so I will refrain from revealing the conclusion of the story. That’s for me to know and you to find out.

No comments: