Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Ava DuVernay Won Ava DuVernay Won Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results If You Missed PBS' August Wilson Documentary, 'The Ground on Which I Stand,' Watch It in Full Now! If You Missed PBS' August Wilson Documentary, 'The Ground on Which I Stand,' Watch It in Full Now! Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Mo'Nique's Decision to Not "Play the Industry Game" Gets Her Blacklisted. The Actress Speaks... Mo'Nique's Decision to Not "Play the Industry Game" Gets Her Blacklisted. The Actress Speaks... For the First Time, the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Will Be Broadcast on TV - on OWN For the First Time, the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Will Be Broadcast on TV - on OWN Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Apparently, Hosting The Oscars Isn't As Coveted A Gig As I Previously Assumed... Apparently, Hosting The Oscars Isn't As Coveted A Gig As I Previously Assumed... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Thoughts On 'Betty & Coretta' After Its Premiere This Weekend?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 4, 2013 at 12:31PM

Objections from the families of both women aside, I watched about 30 minutes of it, and, I'm sorry folks, I just couldn't continue. There's a Lifetime movie aesthetic that just isn't for me, but clearly it works for some. I don't have the ratings/viewership numbers yet, but Lifetime will likely issue a press release with those details, which we'll share here once we have them.
11
Betty & Coretta

Objections from the families of both women aside, I watched about 30 minutes of it, and, I'm sorry folks, I just couldn't continue. There's a Lifetime movie aesthetic that just isn't for me, but clearly it works for some. I don't have the ratings/viewership numbers yet, but Lifetime will likely issue a press release with those details, which we'll share here once we have them.

Instead of me criticizing it, I've just accepted that I'm not in the network's target audience anyway, so its programming likely won't do anything for me, and it's pointless for me to rip it apart. I tuned in because, well, I run a black film blog, so I need to be aware of what others are watching, especially en masse. 

One thing I'd say is that, while I give Mary J. Blige props for pushing herself (and also she did produce the film, so she put herself to work, instead of waiting for someone else to do so), I'd like to see her learn and practice the craft of acting more, by maybe taking small but strong, challenging roles here and there, over many years, becoming something of a character actor we could say, building up her cred, and gaining the necessary experience, before she attempts to tackle a role as significant as the one she does in Betty & Coretta, playing opposite the likes of Angela Bassett, who's classically-trained, and has been acting for decades, on stage, TV and Film.

Sure, go after your dream, by all means. I'm not trying to discourage; but it's irksome when talents who become stars in one field, transition to another in which they have little to no experience, and instead of taking their time to learn the craft necessary to succeed in the new field they've transitioned to, they dive right into these weighty jobs that they really have no business taking on... at least, not as soon as they often do. 

It's obviously not a blanket rule. There might be some who just have raw talent, and step right into almost any scenario or field, and impress. But I'd say those folks are in the minority.

I'm a filmmaker and writer, and if I wanted to become an actor, I wouldn't go audition to play Malcolm X tomorrow. Or even next year, or the year after that. Even I know my limits. I'd want to be respected by my peers, and taken seriously, especially by those whose work I respect. So I'd take my time, honoring the craft, really working on perfecting my abilities, in small but interesting roles that challenge me, on stage, on TV, and film. I might even do some small, independent regional play. I'd work to hone my skills, and spend whatever time I feel is necessary to put me on track to becoming great at what I do, and over time, take on larger and larger roles. 

But that's just me...

Remember, she also was previously attached to play Nina Simone - a role that now belongs to Zoe Saldana. So clearly, she's shooting for the stars, as they say, with Nina Simone and now Betty Shabazz. Who is she going to play next?

So anyway, I'd like to read what those of you who did Betty & Coretta over the weekend, and who maybe have a more objective, balanced take on it, feel about what you saw - what you liked, what you didn't like, etc.

So dig in...

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, Angela Bassett


Shadow & ActNewsletter