Saturday, 12 February 2011

S2S Goes to the Movies: 'Frankie & Alice'

S2S Goes to the Movies: 'Frankie & Alice'

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 21:15 — Sonya E
Halle Berry is riveting in her latest performance playing two different people in Frankie & Alice.

Halle Berry is riveting in her latest performance playing two different people in Frankie & Alice.

Frankie & Alice, based on a true story of 1970s stripper Frankie Murdoch, who suffered from multiple personality disorder, is a movie that will have your eyes glued to the screen--mainly because of its talented star Halle Berry.

The film is about a young woman raised in 1950s Georgia whose personal and social letdowns contributed to her personality disorder and instability. Frankie's mental and nervous breakdowns, complete with unmanageable alter egos, at first, land her in jail and then later in a psychiatric institute. From there, the jazz-loving psychiatrist Dr. Oz (Stellan Skarsgrd) takes on Frankie's case and investigates the history behind her mental problems.

Phylicia Rashad also delivers a great supporting performance as Frankie's mother, Edna.

The role of Frankie is a tour de force, and it would be a dream for any real actress to play someone who is this complex. The story itself, however, is one that we've seen far too many times--especially from Halle.

The direction is a little all-over-the-place and the film credits eight writers for penning a screenplay for a movie that isn't even two hours long. Also, none of the major studios are distributing the movie, which is very rare for a film featuring a star of Halle's caliber. Instead, little-known indie label Freestyle Releasing is distributing the film.

Halle undoubtedly commands the screen in this role and you are reminded of the fact that she is a star capable of carrying any picture. It sure would be nice to see her in a romantic comedy again--something she hasn't done since the '90s. Instead she consistently takes on roles like the ones in Gothika, Things We Lost in the Fire, Monster's Ball, and Perfect Stranger, where she plays women so damaged and emotionally unstable that it can be sometimes painful to watch. They're roles that loudly scream, "I'm trying to win another Oscar!"

We miss that infectious smile and slow motion walk that first grabbed our attention in earlier films like Boomerang, which made Halle a gigantic star and role model. These days it seems like we only get to see that side of her in Revlon commercials.

Grade: C

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