Soul Food


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Time Out says

Sunday lunches are the gist of the movie: communal nourishment prepared the traditional way, back home under the aegis of Mother Joe (Hall). We're in modern-day Chicago, among Mother Joe's three daughters, their spouses and offspring. The eldest, Teri (Williams), a professional success, but hard and embittered, rubs against her sisters and even her husband Miles (Beach); Maxine (Fox) lives more easily with Kenny (Sams) and their two young children; and newlywed Bird (Long) finds life with Lem (Phifer) is loving but uncertain. It's Maxine's eldest, Ahmad (Hammond), who assumes Mother Joe's burden when she's hospitalised, and narrates the story which, as he says, is about the things that brought the family together and the things that tried to pull it apart. This is the limit of the film's ambitions, but if there are no surprises, it nevertheless makes sense: the dilemmas have emotional grounding, thanks to sure, steady direction and, especially, the ensemble cast. A hearty, old fashioned meal of a film.


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Release details

UK release:



115 mins

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