ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – H – Harriet (2019) Movie Review

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Writer: Gregory Allen Howard, Kasi Lemmons (Screenplay)

Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Janelle Monae

Plot: The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman‘s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

Tagline – The unbelievable true story of Harriet Tubman, an American legend

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Harriet starts as slave Minty (Erivo) is looking to have her freedom with her husband, only her owner isn’t going to let her be free, despite her time being up with them. Minty decides to run away risking her life to escape joining William Still (Odom Jr) and Marie Buchanon (Monae) to help rescue other slaves.

Minty takes the name Harriet Tubman as her free name and fast becomes one of the leading freedom fighters for slaves, breaking many out of their plantations giving them the freedom they deserve, making history with her efforts.

Thoughts on Harriet

Characters – Minty was the name from slavery, a woman looking to get her freedom with her husband to start their own family, not being granted this, she runs for her freedom, becoming Harriet Tubman, her free name, working with other people to help free slaves from different locations, risking more, saving more, being one of the most important people in the rescuing of slaves. William Still has been running an operation to help escaped slaves have normal lives, he welcomes and shows Harriet how to achieve this. We do get to meet plenty of other people involved in the rescues, as well as the people trying to stop this happening, preventing the freedom the slaves should have.

PerformancesCynthia Erivo in the leading role is sensational getting her Oscar nomination for her work, always being a signal for strength through the film. The rest of the cast give us strong performances throughout, without needing to reach the levels of Cynthia.

StoryThe story here follows Harriet Tubman rise from slave to leader in rescuing slaves from across America, branded Moses, saving thousands. This is a story that will show how the country was against letting black people have their freedom and how they need to work with the few good people that would risk everything to grant them the freedom they deserved, it shows us how Harriet used her determination to make more of the rescues to make sure she helped as many people as possible, teaching us the importance of the history of her actions.

BiopicThis is an important history lesson telling us the story of one of the people that risked their own life, to save many more in a world where being black was considered a crime if you were free.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the conditions the slaves must work in as well as the condition their journey to freedom would take them through.

Scene of the Movie – The calls.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The white people turning on each other feels like it should have had a more shocking moment.

Final ThoughtsHarriet is an important story about an incredible woman, that should be seen by all to show what people risked to save others, with Cynthia Erivo shining through the film.

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