Does 'For Colored Girls' have any Oscar chances?
Tyler Perry's first foray into drama, the adaptation of Ntozake Shange's play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf," bowed this weekend to a respectable $20.1-million opening. It opened to bleak reviews, faulted for its melodrama and heavy handedness. But that meant little to audiences, who were primarily older than 25 and rewarded the film with an A grade, according to exit pollster CinemaScore.
Lionsgate is pushing Perry, along with the slew of actresses who made up the disparate storylines, one more depressing than the next, for awards consideration. Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine have generated the most positive reviews of the bunch but they are entering a very crowded field of actresses this season, including Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right"), Nicole Kidman ("Rabbit Hole"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone") and Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), among others.
The biggest support of "For Colored Girls" would likely come from a strong public response, as seen through the box office, which could end up helping its award chances. It will be interesting to see how the film holds in theaters in weeks to come. With such strong word-of-mouth predicted by the Cinemascore, it's feasible the R-rated drama could hold better than Perry's previous outings, which usually open to around $23 million and drop 60% their sophomore session.
Lionsgate's toughest act will be getting academy members to see the bleak drama. If moviegoers rally around the film, it will make the studio's job all that much easier.
Photo: Kerry Washington, left, Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose in "For Colored Girls." Credit: Quantrell Colbert / Lionsgate