Age restriction: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Down In The Delta brings together an outstanding cast of stars in an uplifting story of family, community and friendship. In a desperate attempt to change her life, Loretta (Alfre Woodard, The Family That Preys)—a troubled single mother from a tough Chicago neighborhood—is sent to spend a summer at her family's ancestral home in rural Mississippi. In "The Delta," with the support and wisdom of her hardworking uncle Earl, Loretta finally begins to see a way to provide for her young children and reverse the downward slide of her life. Also starring Loretta Devine (TV's Grey's Anatomy) and Wesley Snipes (Brooklyn's Finest). This family drama begins in a gritty Chicago neighborhood with a jobless, hopeless mother (Alfre Woodard) pouring her efforts into the bottle and various drugs rather than her troubled daughter and wise-beyond-his-years son. But the movie soon heads south, as the title suggests, when Mom and kids are sent to live with an uncle for the summer. Their lives change, of course, but that's the only predictable aspect of this 107-minute film. First-time director Maya Angelou brings her poetic sense to Myron Goble's elegant script, and the performances are uniformly excellent, most notably the always superb Woodard, Al Freeman Jr. as her uncle, and Mary Alice as her mother. Wesley Snipes takes a break from his action career to do some acting as Freeman's son, and the late Esther Rolle is haunting in the last portrayal of her career. The film's touch of mystery is provided by one of its most devastating characters, a candelabra called Nathan. Rated PG-13, but suitable for ages 8 and older. --Kimberly Heinrichs