January 16, 2017
A Patch of Blue.
Review #896: A Patch of Blue.
Sidney Poitier (Gordon Ralfe), Shelley Winters (Rose-Ann D'Arcey), Elizabeth Hartman (Selina D'Arcey), Wallace Ford (Ole Pa), Ivan Dixon (Mark Ralfe), Elisabeth Fraser (Sadie), and John Qualen (Mr. Faber) Directed by Guy Green.
There is something interesting about how the movie paces itself with elements of romance and a touch of good natured humanity. It's not a movie mired in being dated or only relevant for the time, in part because this is still a film that could be made today. Sure, one could be cynical and rail against the literal nature of "love is blind" the movie takes, but I find it to be an entertaining movie in part because of the two leads. There is just something magical and charming about their scenes, where Poitier and Hartman (in her debut performance) simply just click on screen. Hartman makes this naive but charming girl one to care about. Poitier is entertaining as well, showing the right kind of depth and humanity. It's not an innocent movie either, with Winters portraying her character with the right kind of toxic nature that accompanies a movie that has enough punch to be quite effective. Ford (in his last performance) is also quite good in his role, portraying this sad old man without any hint of fakery. You can have scenes where the two are enjoying themselves buying groceries, and other scenes where she tries to navigate herself to the park on her own without help. There is enough emotion and heart that it never feels manipulative nor too sentimental. The movie flows well at 105 minutes, never dragging itself too much while also managing to have a ending that fits the film well in being itself and not going for the easy out. It certainly is a film that leaves itself open to discussion over a good deal of subjects, and it makes the mark of a fairly good movie. While it may not be as influential as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (#139) was when released two years after this film, A Patch of Blue still manages to leave its mark with the way it presents itself and its characters. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, folks.
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Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.