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American Violet (2009) An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet , an instructive, sturdily built drama based on a true story worth teaching: In… 2009-04-17 PG-13 PT102M Drama Nicole Beharie Michael O'Keefe Will Patton Alfre Woodard Samuel Goldwyn Films
Movie Review

American Violet (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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Embraceable You: A tender moment in American Violet
Image credit: Scott Saltzman
Embraceable You: A tender moment in American Violet
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 17, 2009; Rated: PG-13; Length: 102 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Nicole Beharie; Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

An artlessly powerful performance by newcomer Nicole Behaire anchors American Violet, an instructive, sturdily built drama based on a true story worth teaching: In 2001, an African-American single mother in Texas is falsely accused of drug-dealing during a housing-project raid. Pressured to plead guilty in a plea bargain by a racist District Attorney (O’Keefe), she chooses instead to file a discrimination suit with support from a northerner ACLU lawyer (Nelson) and a local lawyer (Patton). Here's a case of activist screenwriting where didacticism in the defense of justice is no vice. B+

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Originally posted Apr 14, 2009 Published in issue #1044-1045 Apr 24, 2009 Order article reprints