American Violet – Movie Review
Nicole Beharie, Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton, and Xzibit headline this drama fact-based drama about an innocent Texas mother caught up in a high-profile drug raid, and unjustly accused due to the uncorroborated testimony of a single informant. Dee Roberts (Beharie) is a young, single mother of four living in a small Texas town. Arrested during a drug raid and accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Dee goes against the wishes of her mother Alma (Alfre Woodard) and rejects the plea bargain that would free her from jail, but brand her as a felon for life. As word begins to spread that similar incidents are occurring in poor communities all across the country, Dee realizes that there are more mothers out there like her, and decides to take a stand against powerful District Attorney Calvin Beckett (Michael O’Keefe). Now, despite being well aware of District Attorney Beckett’s fierce reputation, Dee enlists the aid of ACLU attorney David Cohen (Nelson) and former narcotics officer Sam Conroy (Patton) in overcoming the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that, if not navigated with the greatest of caution, now threaten to destroy her life. With the custody of her children on the line, one brave mother wages a valiant battle to strike at the very heart of the corrupt Texas justice system.
Pick of the Week!
“American Violet” is one of those little gems of a movie that makes reviewing such fun. I knew nothing about it. It has a great cast, including Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton, Michael O’Keefe, Charles Dutton, Alfre Woodard, and a newcomer whose name is Nicole Beharie, whom you will be hearing more about. It’s set in the year 2000, at the time of Bush’s election, more or less, in a small town called Melody, Texas. It looks at a district attorney who makes raids on a black community, and what happens when an innocent woman gets swept up in the whole thing. I don’t want to tell you more than that because I want you to discover this the same way I did, with a sense of discovery and a lot of tension, a little nail-biting, but this is why people go to movies. Four Stars.