Plot Summary[ edit ] I edited the entire section for clarity, grammar and style. In facing these hurdles, Leticia drinks frequently and is thereby unable to pay her bills, leading to an eviction notice.
Along with her domestic problems, she also struggles financially, leading to the loss of the family car and more seriously, an eviction notice on her house.
I made the change because there's no clear message that Leticia drinks frequently, now or in the past, or that her drinking is part of her financial difficulties at all. I also think it's important to point out the loss of her car as her inability to pay for the car's maintenance, as well as her house payments, were both discussed in the scene when she visits her husband in prison.
The loss of the car was what led her to choose to walk home the night her son was killed and both the loss of the car and the house are the only real signs she is in a bad financial situation anyway.
I also changed the sentence Leticia, despite having uncovered Hank's complicity in her husband's death, decides to stay with him. Leticia, despite having uncovered Hank's involvement in her husband's death, decides to stay with him. African Americans were deeply split over Berry's winning the Award as well as actor Denzel Washington, who while consistently playing in acceptable and heroic roles, won his Oscar for playing a venal Los Angeles cop in Training Day. Some of these differences are generational, while others are based on African American cultural, political and religious mores.
Those viewers did not believe, for example, that Berry was actually performing. Others believed that Berry had actually made love to Thornton, causing them to label her as a whore and as a race traitor to African Americans, particularly to black males. A few ambiguous stills made the Internet rounds to "prove" that the actors were having sexual intercourse. Other African Americans, using biological determinism, suggested that a real black woman--that is, someone who was not biracial--would not authentically represent black people in this manner.
Still others felt that Berry's efforts were mercenary, and did not advance the stature or the cause of African American actors in Hollywood. Actress Angela Bassett, who has long been considered a future Oscar pick, reflected black displeasure and possibly the competitiveness among minority actresses in an already limited field in a highly publicized Newsweek magazine interview in It would do much better a to cite specific writers who held the beliefs which are here being ascribed to "African Americans"; and b to accurately describe these attitudes not with the vague expression "cultural, political, and religious mores" but rather as racial-purity or anti-miscegenation beliefs.
We have a requirement here to cite sources , and to avoid attributing to a vague group such as "African Americans" what appear to be views that are not in fact widely held. We also have a requirement here to avoid weasel terms. It is contradictory to Wikipedia policy, both on citing sources and on neutrality, to print demeaning expressions such as "whore" and "race traitor" without comment, and to attribute them to "African Americans" and "viewers" rather than to the specific persons responsible for these words.
These demeaning expressions should be cited or cut. I had considered writing a nonfiction manuscript regarding the controvery around Halle Berry and Monster's Ball ; this has been temporarily shelved due to another project.
I have also interviewed one of the screenwriters before stopping work. Therefore, there are not specific writers, per se, as many of them wrote in anonymously and using cover names, but black detractors of the film were legion.
One in particular was the syndicated film reviewer and columnist Esther Iverem, who seemed to spearhead one attack on Berry. I have seen the webpage where it is alleged that Berry is actually making love to Thornton.
I am not sure whether it still exists, and I no longer have the actual link. These are not weasel terms; these are comments that are based the facts of the responses I saw from The responses, however, have probably been erased from the archives, but these exchanges did exist, and I still have downloaded copies of them.
It's too bad that I did not see these responses sooner. I think that you both are standing on shakier ground than you think. Anonymous comments on message boards cannot be verified, and the Iverem article citation 4 itself is mostly based on the author reading message boards. I know I should be bold and edit it myself, but I don't have time for what needs to be a full rewrite.
Whether they really are the views of a minority or not, these views are based on issues within the black community: No doubt, sexual fear and jealousy and separatist views abounded in this discussion. However, they needed to be aired, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. Apparently, some people persist in being willfully ignorant and threaten rewrites rather than conduct competent research on views by African Americans about the film during that time.
Instead, they say nothing of the kind happened, or that the criticism was overblown and or not to be believed or only confined to a 'small minority. What strikes me is that some of you take umbrage that there was this kind of negative blowback from the black community about the film, and that only this is what makes their feelings 'invalid' in your eyes.
What seems to be missing, I see, are positive responses by blacks who saw the film. In the near future, I will try to update the piece regarding their views.
However, I want to be frank: I remain supportive of the film and of the characters and in particular, Halle Berry's performance. The piece about Raphael Picaud has been removed. However, I did say, in previous remarks, that he may have been taking advantage of the situation to promote his own business and views. I briefly interviewed two elderly black women exiting the multiplex theatre where Monster's Ball was being run in upstate New York.
One woman rolled her eyes skyward when I asked her whether she liked the film, when she signified that "Georgia sure has changed a lot. Probably because there weren't any. The truth is that Monster's Ball was not particularly well-received by the black community, and is commonly referred to as "Massa's Balls" - and that's just from the people who even bothered to see the movie.
Most of them admitted they'd never saw the movie but was happy for Halle, and those who HAD and was happy for Halle admitted that they wished she'd gotten it for a different role.
It's too bad that there are some who can't get past their knee jerk reaction to see that there is more to this story than interracial sex. It shows me that people still have a strong prejudice against interracial couples in America Jamie Foxx's best actor win for portraying the beloved singer Ray Charles in Ray may have put the kibosh on this theory.
One, it's VERY untrue. Denzel's Oscar win was more or less forgiven because Denzel has been in the business for years, and people felt that his Oscar, while certainly not worthy of THAT performance, was more or less an award for past work. On the other hand, Halle was looked at as a moderately talented actresses at best, who had done nothing worth note before or after this particular movie, which depicted her nude and graphic having sex with a racist white man.
And while the interracial slant was certainly a factor, most people seemed to be more insulted by the fact that the white man was a racist, as opposed to be white. As for Foxx, I think there was no controversy because people honestly didn't care. Ray Charles wasn't exactly a stand-up guy I thought the filmn was too kind to him and seriously inaccurate , but he was a real person; Denzel and Halle's characters were fictional.
Honestly, an entire article could be written about the controversy surrouding this film, and I wouldn't mind seeing one, because I personally am a little tired of African-Americans being portrayed as a bunch of chomping-at-the-bit people unable to see a woman of color being manhandled by a white man.
News flash - we're a rather liberal thinking and intelligent people. We don't care that Halle kissed a white guy, and we don't care that she is biracial. You can believe what you want, but I think that my statement has credence.
It would have been better if you had simply disagreed, and not tried to censor my writing, which basically confirms some of what you have written. I don't claim to be ignorant, not as a black feminist. I know that I will seem repetitive, but I know for a fact that for a long time, legitimate black actresses have been admonished by other black actors or fans not to perform nude with white actors, particularly white male actors. These expectations are connected with the fear of exploitation and of rape, and it goes straight back to slavery.
Hence, a black actress's body is not always used at the behest of her art or her performance, but rather at the expectations of others. In other words, keep your blouse on and your legs closed. Blacks must present an image of near chastity when it comes to depicting not only interracial sex, but even black sex. It's almost as if it doesn't happen; it's sometimes so stylized we don't even feel the sweat.
There does seem to be a kind of 'ownership' that black people engage in regarding the exposure or depiction of black actors and in this case, black female bodies on film no matter how it is depicted. Fans and critics have insisted that if a black woman actress plays a nude scene in any way even beyond the recognizable prostitute , there must be something 'wrong' with her, i. This is borne out by the virulent responses to the film that I saw on black entertainment Websites--which commented on and speculated outrageously about her personal life and even her ancestry as an explanation for her performance and nomination.
I'm sure that you and your fellow students didn't hold back your opinions either at that time. White actors--even the A level kind--don't get this kind of flack. That's a heavy, hell of a cross to place on the backs of black creative people. My comment about Denzel was pretty much written in an ironic tone. It pointed out a continuing double standard in the community.
Unfortunately, you didn't get it. We're both right about the same thing. The amount of anger and invective, and the charges of sellout leveled at Denzel Washington's performance was not as loud or dismissive as the response to Halle Berry's. The sex scene was more than just two people 'knocking boots' as it were; no one really talks about the secondary sex scene when the pair are not as desperate and are more relaxed and appreciative of each other.
They focus on The Scene without inquiring about what it truly meant in the context of the film. In other words, to you and others, Berry won an Oscar for a sex scene, not for her role. No, I really don't think so. Even if Berry continues to work in mediocre roles and no one says that she probably has to pay the bills for her failed marriages, her accidents, and to simply stay afloat like other actors while she happens on better scripts , I believe that in at least this one role, she stood apart, and for this, she deserves some respect.
I took out this line[ edit ] "and that a black woman's body and its exposure 'belongs' exclusively to a black man husband, lover and even a father or a brother, and to the community , but not to herself. It has no proof and no evidence to support that black men or black women feel this way about their body's.
I don't know who wrote this statement, but it sounds like someone who was extremely ignornant and clearly subjective in their thoughts. Outside of this movie's controversial sex scene[ edit ] This movie was poorly acted by Berry.
Edit out the sex scene and you have a bad movie with a terrible actress. That's the real issue to me. The controversy should have been why did she get an oscar for horrible acting. This was a rare instance in which the Academy awarded a film with sexually explicit content. It makes it sound like the movie is porn with words like "graphic depiction of sexual intercourse" and "sexually explicit content.
Although I haven't seen all of the following films, I've heard that Holly Hunter in the Piano, Gwyneth is Shakespeare, and Charlize in "Monster" all had sex scenes in their movies and they all won Best Actress. How does this make Halle Berry's situation to be rare? The entire paragraph should be deleted or reworded with something like, "Arguably, Halle Berry's Oscar-Winning role is has the most realistic portrayal of sex in a movie.