The Best of Enemies Reviews
I hope Sam Rockwell isn't going to be locked into this kind of roll got to say, he was great in Three Billboards but here was really one note.
I'll address what critics disliked:
- "Not enuf backstory on the blacks." The script is not primarily about blacks or black lives. It's about the character arc of Klansman who become an AFL-CIO organizer after this experience. One memorable, searing speech about the lives of black children outside of school is one of few glimpses here. The direction of detail and nuance is primarily how Black Lives Matter is SHOWN in this film not TOLD. I lived thru this period. It's spot on.
- "The script is thin." Then perhaps AAA filmmaking does not hold your attention much. It's a movie about small things having out-size consequences, the small things which make us human to each other. Were you expecting super heroes?
- "The real story was changed." This was pretty obvious in the vote scene climax. However the re-arranging of actual events supports the main arc of the main character and supports the dramatic payoff of this scene and the scene to follow. That's what writers can do.
See it if you have an interest in better, improved human relations anywhere.
This film (and Green Book) is their version of integration except now.... THEY'RE the Klan. Its sad & terrifying if you think about how any supposedly educated person could condemn a film's unifying message where both black and white emerge as victors. But that doesnt align with their victimization dogma so it must be cast aside and rebuked. It really is pathetic.
CP Ellis's transformation and Ann Atwater's passionate advocacy are equally commendable but more importantly, equally human. Rockwell and Henson give great performances as two adversaries who, through trial by fire, eventually, grudgingly, learn to coexist. I also found the backdrop
dynamic between the pacifist approach of the civil rights leaders and the repugnant, vigilante violence of the KKK gave the film a good, dooming drama.
I also appreciated the film's portrayal of the social & economic costs associated with defying the Klan, especially for white people. Showing that DOES NOT diminish or minimize what African Americans went through although the critics somehow, ridiculously think it does. Right is right. Courage is courage. We dont need a skin color on it to celebrate it. Its not that hard a concept. A thought provoking film I definitely recommend.