I’ve found the press run and awards season cycle of “The Color Purple” really fascinating. Perhaps more interesting than the musical itself. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy watching the film in theaters with my family, recognizing the familiar moments, brought to life by this brand-new cast full of stellar talent. I really did enjoy it.

But there have been so many narratives that have been floating around through critics and moviegoers. Like, I’m still stuck on the fact that people went to the movies not knowing it was a musical!!!! In talking with friends and family, I also think there were hopes that the academy would right its wrongs by awarding the film some Oscar wins this year. (The 1985 film did not win any Oscars at the 1986 ceremony.)

Danielle Brooks was rightly nominated for Best Supporting Actress this year, which is also her first nomination. But Fantasia Barrino should have been announced as a nominee this morning. She really convinced me with her portrayal of Celie. (I still hate that I missed her in the Broadway revival.) As for Brooks, she’s going up against Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s performance in “The Holdovers,” which has dominated that category at award shows so far. But, as I think we have discussed before, Brooks’ performance is stronger than Randolph’s, and I’m fully rooting for Brooks to win. — Erin

LOL Erin. I don’t understand the whole not knowing it was a musical part. But I will say that many people have written about how Hollywood has failed to market the fact that this and other films this year are musical films. Though, I thought people already knew that “The Color Purple” had two yearslong Broadway musical runs? So, I don’t get that. And I think the conversation around correcting whatever perceived Oscar snubs from the first movie with this new one was already a terrible reason to do this movie. And look where that got them? One nomination.

I definitely think Brooks’ performance is much, much better than Randolph’s, but the latter has been unstoppable in the awards race so far. I hate when people use “upset” this way, but like…I would love to see an upset here. — Candice

If people haven’t already, they should read Candice’s thoughtful piece about the various ways each adaptation of “The Color Purple” has been a diluted version of Alice Walker’s novel and has come up against the forces of capitalism, white Hollywood, etc.

I know we all have mixed feelings about this latest one. I do think Fantasia really killed it and wished she hadn’t been left off of the Best Actress list. I was also happy to see Danielle Brooks recognized. I think both things can be true: this adaptation fell short, and it had a lot of great performances. — Marina

Thank you, Marina! I’ll start with this: I am kinda surprised to see Fantasia not get nominated only because she has been nominated for so many of the other awards. But I actually found Danielle Brooks’ performance far more tremendous in a supporting role, and happy to see her nominated. It was also…the only objectively great thing about the movie, to me. Everything else about this new “Color Purple” is just…fine. It’s not bad, it’s not superb. It’s thoroughly entertaining. It does exactly what you expect it to do. But, as I discuss in my piece, that’s not really enough to validate its existence. It doesn’t take any bold steps to subvert or confront the time it’s in. I thought that was the point of Hollywood’s obsession with remakes? *insert shrug emoji here* — Candice



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