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USA 1994
Directed by
Spike Lee
132 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Spike Lee's film is a simple and direct story of Troy, a young Afro-American girl growing up in 1970s Brooklyn and the ups and downs of her family in particular her beleaguered school-teacher mother (Alfre Woodard) and her indulgent but completely impractical jazz-musician father (Delroy Lindo) and her four brothers. Based on an autobiographical story by Joie Lee, Spike's sister, and scripted by the pair with their brother, Cinqué, as usual with Lee, there are wry observations of black urban culture of the time, a hip soundtrack mixing a grab-bag of contemporary pop songs with Terence Blanchard's original score and stylish visuals.

Not everything works, notably a shift of image ratio when Troy goes to stay with her country cousins and much of the film just comes down to the children squabbling, something which  evidently had more appeal to a nostalgic Lee than it will have to audiences who do not have similar memories.

Crooklyn is not one of Lee's major works but it is a passably enjoyable dalliance with the his most approachable.




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