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Beloved Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Jonathan Demme directed this adaptation of Toni Morrison's fact-based fifth novel (winner of a 1988 Pulitzer Prize), written in an experimental stream-of-consciousness flow and capturing the impact and aftermath of slavery on the human soul. In 1873, middle-aged Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) lives near Cincinnati with her teenage daughter, Denver (Kimberly Elise). She gets a surprise visit from her old friend Paul D (Danny Glover), whom she knew when they were both slaves on the Kentucky plantation Sweet Home. Paul D moves in, and a number of mysteries are introduced, including Sethe's memories of her dead older daughter and the fact that Sethe has been abandoned by her husband, two sons, and Denver's grandmother, Baby Suggs (Beah Richards). When a feral, insect-covered, stuttering teenager (Thandie Newton) turns up at Sethe's house, she is nursed back to health by Denver and called "Beloved." Violent flashbacks begin to explore shocking episodes from Sethe's past. (The film is rated R "for violent images, sexuality and nudity.") Hints of the supernatural surface as the question arises -- could Beloved be Sethe's older daughter, back from the dead? This film was a pet project of producer-star Oprah Winfrey, who spent over a decade bringing this work to the screen after she bought the film rights in 1987. With titles fashioned by leading poster/titles designer Pablo Ferro and music by Rachel Portman, director Demme filmed in a variety of locations, including Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Civic Center, Lancaster's Landis Valley Museum), Maryland (Fair Hill Natural Resources Area), and Delaware (Old New Castle). ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

  • Release date:October 8, 1998

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Chicago Film Critics Association Kimberly Elise Most Promising Actress 1998 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Colleen Atwood Best Costume Design 1998 Nominee

Cast

Oprah Winfrey
as Sethe
Danny Glover
as Paul D
Thandie Newton
as Beloved
Kimberly Elise
as Denver
Beah Richards
as Baby Suggs
Lisa Gay Hamilton
as Younger Sethe
Albert Hall
as Stamp Paid
Irma P. Hall
as Ella
Carol Jean Lewis
as Janey Wagon
Kessia Kordelle
as Amy Denver
Jude Ciccolella
as Schoolteacher
Anthony Chisholm
as Langhorne
Jason Robards, Jr.
as Mr. Bodwin
Wes Bentley

Crew

Jonathan Demme
Director
Jonathan Demme
Producer
Gary Goetzman
Producer
Oprah Winfrey
Producer
Kate Forte
Producer
Edward Saxon
Producer
Akosua Busia
Screenwriter
Richard LaGravenese
Screenwriter
Adam Brooks
Screenwriter
Tak Fujimoto
Cinematographer
Rachel Portman
Composer (Music Score)
Andy Keir
Editor
Carol Littleton
Editor
Kristi Zea
Production Designer
Tim Galvin
Art Director
Steven Shareshian
Associate Producer
Ron Bozman
Executive Producer
Karen O'Hara
Set Designer
Colleen Atwood
Costume Designer
Willie D. Burton
Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Kohn
First Assistant Director
Howard Feuer
Casting
Kristi Zea
Second Unit Director
Neal Martz
Makeup Special Effects
Carl Fullerton
Makeup Special Effects
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