Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Harriet, Harriet, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, home entertainment, DVD, Blu-ray, Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr, Jennifer Nettles, Joe Alwyn, Tim Guinee, Deborah Ayorinde, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Kasi Lemmons, Biography, Drama, History

HARRIET

★★★

A FLAWED HARRIET TUBMAN BIOPIC WITH A PHENOMENAL PERFORMANCE

ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
14th June 2020

We have all heard the name Harriet Tubman - but at least for me, the story of what she did has somewhat been lost over time. This could come down to me being Australian and knowing little about American history, especially during Civil War times, so I was excited to go into the film and excited to learn about a history I'm not too familiar with.

Minty (Cynthia Erivo, 'Widows', 'Bad Times at the El Royale') escapes from her slave owner, Gideon Brodess (Joe Alwyn, 'The Favourite', 'Mary Queen of Scots'), and makes it to Philadelphia. She meets Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monàe, 'Hidden Figures', 'UglyDolls'), who is the owner of a boarding house, and William Still (Leslie Odom Jr, 'Murder on the Orient Express'), an abolitionist who gets Minty involved in the Underground Railroad - but she is first told to give herself a new free name, Harriet Tubman, and she begins to free slaves using the railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses.

'HARRIET' TRAILER

'Harriet' as presented is a good movie, but sadly it fails to reach the exceptional heights that the studio was hoping for. "Oscar Bait" is a term thrown around a lot, but it's the best way to describe 'Harriet' as the credits roll. You can the studio was really hoping this would have a similar impact to '12 Years a Slave' in terms of critical gold, but preaching to those awards voters really cost us a groundbreaking film. The film flows more like a superhero origin story, with 'Harriet' escaping and then "forming" a group to free slaves. The film ends with a prologue of the Civil War and Harriet holding a gun in front of a "team" ready to battle. While this did happen the way it's framed, it doesn't feel right for this story. Even the film's posters are very superhero-esque. The film is still enlightening and captivating, but just feels that it was hindered from reaching new heights due to the studio's intentions.

The acting across the board is amazing. Cynthia Erivo is an absolute powerhouse on Broadway, and while she has done some filmic roles, 'Harriet' proves she is an ultimate triple threat. We get to hear her beautiful singing voice performing some 'Songs of the Underground Railroad', as well as the truly moving tie-in credits song 'Stand Up', and I highly recommend watching the jaw-dropping Oscars performance (bring tissues, as there will not be a dry eye). This made me wonder what 'Harriet: The Musical' could be like. She more than deserved the two Oscar nominations she earned at this year's awards. Also from the Broadway world we have 'Hamilton's' Leslie Odom Jr, who is always instantly charming, Janelle Monàe as always is giving us her all, and finally Joe Alwyn (who one day I might not refer to as just Taylor Swift's boyfriend) as the villain is perfectly hateable.

The acting across the board is amazing. Cynthia Erivo is an absolute powerhouse on Broadway, and while she has done some filmic roles, 'Harriet' proves she is an ultimate triple threat.

'Harriet' stumbles in its clichéd storytelling and focus on going for gold - but that's not to undermine the fantastic acting, groundbreaking music, and of course the incredible true story of Harriet Tubman's bravery. With Black Lives Matter, the fight to end violence and systemic racism towards black people is rooted in the United States' DNA and 'Harriet', and sadly serves as yet another reminder of the constant mistreatment of African Americans. Films about slavery are still relevant, as that same discrimination is still taking place today. I want to end with lyrics from the film's song 'Stand Up' which feel very potent: "I'm going to stand up, take my people with me, together we are going, to a brand-new home."

For more information on Black Lives Matter and to find out what you can do, please go to www.blacklivesmatter.com.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 2h 5m
CAST: Cynthia Erivo
Janelle Monáe
Leslie Odom Jr
Jennifer Nettles
Joe Alwyn
Tim Guinee
Deborah Ayorinde
Clarke Peters
Vanessa Bell Calloway
Vondie Curtis-Hall
DIRECTOR: Kasi Lemmons
WRITERS: Gregory Allen Howard
Kasi Lemmons
PRODUCERS: Debra Martin Chase
Gregory Allen Howard
Charles D. King
Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Kim Roth
SCORE: Terence Blanchard
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Leaving Allen Street - Following residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
TRENDINGLEAVING ALLEN STREETFollowing residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
The Miracle of the Little Prince - A time capsule of dying languages and civilisations
TRENDINGTHE MIRACLE OF THE LITTLE PRINCEA time capsule of dying languages and civilisations
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
TRENDINGSCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
The World's Best Film - A second chance at life to follow your passion
TRENDINGTHE WORLD'S BEST FILMA second chance at life to follow your passion
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us