“Mr. Church” is one of those movies that has a stellar central performance. Then, you start thinking about the movie. Beresford is a guy that’s still trying to recapture the power of his early Aussie films. The guy fell into early pablum claptrap with “Driving Miss Daisy” and never quite recovered. There was a time decades ago where a director could make a career out of these movies. Now, they’re a dime a dozen.

Many have slammed the film with the magical negro label, but I feel that does a disservice to Eddie Murphy’s performance. Murphy honestly tries to mine the greatness hiding beneath this film. But, he’s undone about the film’s forced secret and the need to give time to the middlin’ female leads. When I posted the Blu-ray release announcement, many lit up our social media channels to bring up the fact that they didn’t see it arrive at theaters.

Well, it came and went. I think our dollar house might still have a print, but I’m shaky on that. While we can claim to love smaller cinema and wish that it had more venues, it feels like we’re dropping off. It’s not enough to be indie, the film has to be different enough to matter. Ultimately, the only positive takeaway from the film is that it showcases Eddie Murphy’s immense talent. After the Awards Season ends, this film will be forgotten. That’s not terrible, it’s just the nature of melodrama inflation.


  • 1 hr and 44 mins
  • PG-13
  • Cinelou


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