Film Review: 'Lackawanna Blues'

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The Blue Side of Human Nature George C. Wolfe's 2005 film, Lackawanna Blues is an autobiographical story of a young African American boy growing up in a boarding house occupied by a variety of characters, both intriguing and unique. S. Epatha Merkerson plays Rachel "Nanny" Crosby, a kind hearted woman who adopts Ruben "Junior" Santiago, portrayed by Marcus Carl Franklin, as her own when his mother is unable to care for him. Junior's childhood in the boarding house renders friends and enemies alike, both of which he finds in Nanny's younger husband, Bill, played by Terrence Howard. Produced by Nellie Nugiel, Lackawanna Blues is an enjoyable film that delivers a realistic portrayal of a 1956 neighborhood influenced by blues music and held up by compassion, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. Nanny's boarding house is not only the setting for the film's plot, but also acts as a catalyst to its linear nature. Junior, the film's narrator, is born and raised in this home and appropriately the film ends on its steps that flow down to Watson Ave. Time is marked by Junior's experiences with the characters who dwell within the house. A collage of introductions establish them and their nature to the audience, preparing the viewer to take note of what each one has to offer to Junior's story. It is through these men and women that the film's purpose, the revelation and recognition of internal truth about human nature, becomes apparent. This goal takes precedence in the plot,

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