‘Harriet’ Film Review: Kasi Lemmons’ Standard-Issue Harriet Tubman Biopic Wastes Big-Screen Opportunity

  • The Wrap
‘Harriet’ Film Review: Kasi Lemmons’ Standard-Issue Harriet Tubman Biopic Wastes Big-Screen Opportunity
In life as in art, there are people you root for to do good, to win that prize and get their due recognition. Kasi Lemmons is one of those people. After making the switch from actor to director, she burst onto the screen nearly two decades ago with a wildly unique vision, “Eve’s Bayou.”

Although critics raved and audiences attended, it did not ensure a flourishing filmmaking career the way it might have for a young white male director. Projects stalled or money never came through. She found work, but it’s the gap years on her IMDb profile that neither she nor her audiences will ever get back.

Lemmons’ “Harriet” should have been a heroic return to the world stage. Instead, it’s a disappointingly standard biopic, one whose technical flaws and paint-by-numbers clichés threaten to overshadow its subject’s compelling story.

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