Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ms. Bassett

Boker Tov:
I confess tho the fact I am not much of a Movie goer.
I love a good story, good acting. I love a movie that takes me to another place, another time and I even learn something.
Which is why movies about firefighters with bad marriages, football, war, fifty ways to cheat on your spouse, and how a social network got started isn't something I would be interested in. How a prince who wasn't born to be king had to not only step up to the job when his nation needed him and work on overcoming his stutter does.
A movie about four poor women who think robbing a bank is the way to get out of poverty sends a horriable message. A woman who finds her voice through song and breaks from the chains of abuse, is the back bone of a family of enterianers or the heart and inner strength of a religious leader, speaks volumes and inspires us all.
When I think of such a woman, I think of Angela Bassett.
Without a doubt, Ms. Bassett is one of my favorite actresses.
I remember the first movie I saw her in, 1992'  Miniseries, The Jacksons An American Family. Ms Basset protray Katherine Jackson. And I shall be honest; the only one that made the series worth watching was Ms. Bassett's bringing Mrs. Jackson's character come to life. Later that year,  Ms.Bassett was cast as Tina Turner  in the movie What's Love Got to Do With it, based on the true life story of Ms Turner. Ms Bassett won a Golden Globe award in 1993, becoming the first black actor or actress to win the award. She also earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of  Ms.Turner. And frankly, for that powerful portrayal, Ms. Bassett should have won that award as well. Once again, we got to know a woman who suffereed much; her pain was our pain, her victory was our victory. Her voice, our voice. Many a bused woman not only saw themselved, but knew now there was a way out.
I never saw the movie, Waiting to Exhale,  based on the book by  Terry McMillan but I have seen the scene when as Bernadine Harris, her husband  tells her he is leaving her for another woman. In the anger of a betrayed wife and in revenge she set fire to his entire wardrobe and vehicle, then sold what was left for one dollar. Like the other three women in the movie, Bernadine works through her pain and finds herself.

Cofession: I did see How Stella Got Her Grove Back. Mainly to see Ms Bassett. This time the story was a about a much older woman loving a younger man and the problems that arise. But the sub-story was a woman who had it all and how she lost it and found herself. But it didn't end there. How Stella found herself and her love for the younger man is resolved teaches how to push through to find the answers. It is just a pity that the reat story about M.s McMillan didn't play out as well, but Ms. McMillan's story is also an inspiring story.
 But my favorite role, her portrayial of Betty Shabazz, wife Malcolm X in the movie Malcolm X, for which Ms. Bassett earned an  Image Award.
A private woman, she is married to a fellow actor and mother to a son and daughter.
I am looking forward to the next Angela Bassett: maybe about a black woman rabbi?








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