CROOKLYN isn't Spike Lee's greatest, but it comes very close. Parts of the film hit so close to home with me - the sense of community so vividly depicted, and the 70s soul music (which is nearly ubiquitous through CROOKLYN) makes this film something much like a musical, with the grit and intimacy of Lee's visual realism constantly balanced against the idealism and romanticism of the music. As slice-of-life Americana, this is about as good as it gets. I disliked the scenes with the Aunt & Uncle - I felt that they were being ridiculed mercilessly, for no good reason (they are the living embodiment of the idealism contained in at least some of the music heard at other times in the film, whether they know it or not), and I wished those scenes were handled with more subtlety - Lee, like his NYC bretheren Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen has major issues with suburban types (this hits a peak in Lee's later BAMBOOZLED - an almost brilliant, but also almost cruel expression of rage at the excesses of the entertainment industry that also aimed merciless fury at uncritical audiences - audiences of any and every race and class). But this scene aside, the remainder of CROOKLYN is so strong, and very well-made - I'd still offer a recommendation.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.
February 18, 2020