Movie Reviews: Honeydripper
Opening in limited release this weekend is the John Sayles film Honeydripper, starring Danny Glover, Gary Clark Jr., and Charles Dutton. Its title derives from the Southern blues club, whose survival in 1950 Alabama, is at the heart of the tale. Kyle Smith in the New York Post suggests that the movie "won't draw a much bigger audience than that club." Glenn Whipp in the Los Angeles Daily News writes that the movie "simmers without ever really sizzling." Although the movie features a nearly all-black cast, there are no negative references here to such things as lynchings, rapes, and the Klan, comments Rafer Guzman in Newsday. "There's so much charm and life in The Honeydripper that it makes the bygone South seem like a delightful place to be," he remarks, adding dryly, "It surely was, for some." Kevin Crust in the Los Angeles Times, however, writes that such issues are "percolating below the surface" of the movie and suggests that the authentic blues music of the time is recommendation enough to see it. "Music may be Honeydripper's most indelible element and Sayles and longtime collaborator, composer Mason Daring, seamlessly incorporate several original songs alongside the soundtrack's period tunes. All of the musical performers with the exception of Glover are actual musicians and the level of authenticity elevates the film.," he says.