Black or White | Film review – Kevin Costner vs Octavia Spencer in biracial custody battle

Reeling from his wife’s death in a car crash, Kevin Costner’s LA lawyer Elliot finds himself in a battle for custody of his 7-year-old biracial granddaughter Eloise (sparky Jillian Estell) with her black paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) in this well-intentioned, well-acted melodrama.

Inspired by events in his family’s life, writer-director Mike Binder goes out of his way to be even-handed in Black or White, scrupulously drawing parallels between Elliot’s drinking problem and the crack addiction of Eloise’s estranged father (André Holland), for example, and contrasting the bustling industry of Spencer’s entrepreneurial matriarch with Elliot’s grief-stricken torpor.

But even if the script isn’t always subtle, Costner makes his flawed protagonist vividly real.

Certificate 12. Runtime 117 mins. Director Mike Binder

Black or White is available from Signature Entertainment on Digital HD from Monday 14th December.

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