Spinning into Butter
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The movie does keep a bit of a play atmosphere, and the topics are spot on. Prepare to be provoked and get buttons pushed. I thought it was a refreshingly blunt piece - better than "Crash" - in my opinion, and the story is engaging. None of that abstract hidden agenda stuff. It gets right to the point and drags the issue out into the open.
Basic plot: a hate crime is committed at a New England college which sends the school into media chaos and causes the Dean of Students (Sarah Jessica Parker) to have to deal with her own issues of race.
Sarah Jessica does a pretty decent job in this, and so does Mykelti Williamson. Their on screen chemistry is great.
"Spinning" kind of reminds you of a Saturday afternoon movie on basic cable television, except: there's Carrie-motha******'-Bradshaw yapping your face. It's kind of hilarious, really. She didn't strike me as a teacher (or educator of any kind) before viewing this, but in fact, it works for her as well. She plays the sympathetic, mousy Dean of Students, riddled with white-guilt in today's conservative society.
Not only does the film strike a nerve with me (I'm a black male), but it speaks the volume. While I sympathize for those who face racial challenges on a daily basis, this film doesn't quite conquer the message of that. The film's approach is more so that racism is of the self, and it is not inflicted (at least on screen) towards others. So no, the film is not about racism towards others in the long run, it is about prejudices, self-awareness and self-hate (for those who missed the inclusive, over-the-top ending).
The acting is so-so, the story could've been worked on way better, but it still hits a nerve, so that has to count for something. I am rating this five stars because not every movie with bad reviews should be overlooked, which is something I almost did. But, not every movie is a bad one. Some just outshine others.
In "Spinning Into Butter," a small ivy-covered college in Vermont, known for its liberal views and tolerant policies, is rocked by a racial incident aimed at a recently enrolled black student. Soon the incident has exposed a vein of racism running through the faculty and student body that has long lain hidden beneath a veneer of white liberal guilt and political correctness.
Sarah Jessica Parker plays Sarah Daniels, the newly arrived Dean of Students who has to take the lead in quelling the crisis, but who may have issues of her own regarding race to deal with. Veteran actor Beau Bridges also appears as a fellow dean.
Based on the play by Rebecca Gilman (who co-wrote the screenplay with Doug Atchinson), "Spinning Into Butter," directed by Mark Brokaw, starts off with the best of intentions, pinpointing some of the complexities inherent in an issue we too often sweep under the rug in an effort to avoid dealing with it. And the movie does an effective job highlighting the irony that sometimes it is the very well-intentioned efforts we make to try to alleviate the negative effects of racism - quotas, forced integration, segregation in the name of "cultural pride" etc. - that wind up actually exacerbating the problem in the end. The film also makes the rather provocative case that even in a mostly white, socially liberal enclave like Vermont, racism still exists, though since it is rooted more in the subconscious, it is more likely to manifest itself in covert rather than overt ways there. It's a daring and risky theme and one the filmmakers should be congratulated for at least having the courage to bring out in the open.Read more ›
Her reaction to her experience at the Chicago school is skitzo. The bottom line message of the film is: If someone appears to be a nice person but they are a different color than you, then they are probably a racist. Isn't this attitude Racism of the worst Kind????????
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent movie for University Students Services personnel. The concept of racial diversity is well addressed from the student and the administrative perspective.Published on January 10, 2013 by CAMILLE KIBLER
Not only does the plot and motive make no sense, but many of the actors overemote as if they were still on a stage. The rest of it is just plain preachy and annoying.Published on January 11, 2012 by Viva
Spinning into Butter starring Sarah Jessica Parker is an interesting and unflinching look at racism on a College Campus. Read morePublished on April 23, 2010 by ADRIENNE MILLER