Is Tyler Perry capable of highbrow cinema? The studio behind his 10th movie is determined to make audiences and Oscar voters look beyond his track record and answer yes.
Mr. Perry is the most successful black filmmaker ever.
His nine pictures — from the comedic romp “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion” to the melodramatic “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” — have brought in over $530 million at the North American box office. He also has an enormous business in stage shows and two television series on TBS.
But Mr. Perry — who writes, directs, produces and frequently stars in his films — also has a reputation as a one-man schlock factory.
His movies are reviled by many critics, who complain that his original source material panders and stereotypes, while his directing is sloppy and unsubtle. Now comes “For Colored Girls,” an attempt by Mr. Perry to make a radical turn toward the art-house crowd.
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