This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.
Caught most of it on a TV channel with Lori. Cora (Regina Taylor) and her mum were the only African-Americans in this small town. Cora worked for the Studevants. She had a forbidden love affair with this one Caucasian guy. Since the story took place around the Depression Era, interracial relationships back then were illegal. Cora had baby Josephine and Josephine and the Studevants younger daughter, Jessie, became best friends. Then Josephine died from some illness and Cora then looked after Jessie as if she was her own child.
Simple right? Wrong. Lizbeth (Cherry Jones), the mother of the Studevant’s household is a big bitch. Okay she has reasons for being a bitch. She wants what is the best for Jessie, but what Jessie wants is not what Lizbeth wants. That causes major problems later on. When Jessie falls in love with a Greek boy who was working as an ice cream maker in town, Lizbeth was adamantly against the relationship. She had issues with foreigners. How sad.
One thing I liked about the movie was how this portrayed that even African-Americans could be good mums. Back then most people believed that AAs were uncompassionate, stupid people. But this movie showed that an AA mum could be better than a Caucasian mum. *snorts* Too bad that couldn’t be shown back then. But that’s besides the point. Cora treated Jessie very lovingly. Jessie wasn’t her blood daughter, but she sure has heck should have been! Granted Lizbeth’s actions might have come from love (though I say it’s mostly spite and selfishness of her part), but she just wasn’t a good mother. She’s a control freak.
But yes. This movie was excellent. It was moving, all those scenes you see how understanding Cora was to Jessie and not Lizbeth was capturing. And then Cora’s love… her flashbacking to how they met and how they separated… that was just sad. I am definitely going to get the DVD or VHS and watch it again. It’s a must-see.