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Running Time:
2 hours, 1 minute

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for strong language, thematic material invovling drug use and drinking, and for a fight

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A heartfelt but contrived and simplistic take on the subject of race relations but it's saved by a powerful performance from .

Additional Info:
Kevin Costner ... Elliot Anderson
Octavia Spencer ... Rowena
Jillian Estell ... Eloise Anderson
Bill Burr ... Rick Reynolds
Mpho Koaho ... Duvan Araga
Anthony Mackie ... Jeremiah
André Holland ... Reggie Davis
Gillian Jacobs ... Fay
Jennifer Ehle ... Carol
Paula Newsome ... Judge Cummins
Bertha Bindewald ... Rosita
Joe Chrest ... Dave
Ireyon Johnson ... Kristen
Janeline Hayes ... Dondi

Black or White
Eloise (Jillian Estell), is the bi-racial young granddaughter of Elliot (Kevin Costner), and his wife who have been raising her whole life. It's been a very comfortable home for Eloise, as Elliot's clearly a man of success, if also a bit of an alcoholic. But when his wife dies just before the film begins, he's left alone to raise Eloise. Whether he can do it isn't the issue, but whether he should... That's entirely debatable. 
Enter Rowena Jeffers (Octavia Spencer), the mother of Eloise's biological father, who's chomping at the bit to ignite just such a debate. In court. Rowena expresses her belief that Eloise would do better being raised by her own genetic family, and to live among African-Americans. She brings in a no-nonsense family member / lawyer,  Jeremiah Jeffers (Anthony Mackie).
Like Elliot, Rowena is a self-made woman, and very much the matriarch of a very large extended family of children and grandchildren. Her professional ventures, however, are amusingly ramshackle, setting up shop for numerous businesses at once in her garage and elsewhere. But, she's got skill and wherewithal where it counts, and Octavia Spencer is perfect in the memorable role. 
Where Black or White really gets interesting, though, is in the out-of-court relationship between Elliot and Rowena, something that plays as contentious-if-tolerable business as usual. Even after the legal hearings begin, Rowena's clan continues to crash Elliot's pool unannounced; Elliot still comes around to drop off Eloise; and instead of the expected heated words and yelling, it's frustrated wisecracks and bickering between the two. 

Black or White is written and directed by Mike Binder ("The Upside of Anger"). It is a film that understands that there are no easy answers. It knows when to be funny, when to go melodramatic, when to expose the weaknesses of characters, and when to let them talk. Even if Eloise is perhaps too ideal a child -- the plot's demands of her being worth fighting for inadvertently back-burner her humanity at times; never is she belligerent or sassy -- the battle over her never feels contrived. Even her deadbeat father (Andre Holland), who wanders into the story late in the game, is a multi-dimensional character, probably as unsure of his own motives as the viewers are meant to feel. The final confrontation that erupts between them is a contrivance worthy of the best Old Hollywood melodramas.                                                                                    
                                                                                              To order tickets:  Fandango - We've Got Your Movie Tickets! 

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