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Review: Spinning Into Butter

Terrific actors acting like boobs
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  March 25, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars


VIDEO: The trailer for Spinning Into Butter

The title of this relevant but strained drama comes from the tale of Little Black Sambo, who's invoked in a series of anonymous threats to a black student at a progressive Vermont college. Sarah Jessica Parker's dean of students tries to maintain equilibrium as administrators stage a half-baked "race forum" that ends in a fistfight.

Adapted from Rebecca Gilman's play, the film examines the point at which walking on eggshells in a multicultural microcosm — a Nuyorican up for a scholarship bristles at being termed Hispanic — turns into navigating a minefield. Its high points are the dialogues between Parker and Mykelti Williamson as a reporter covering the hate crimes. Prefaced by flashbacks to the difficult time Parker had working at a predominantly black college in Chicago, the pair's dialogue about prejudice proves viscerally and intellectually satisfying.

Otherwise, director Mark Brokaw casts terrific actors — like Miranda Richardson and Beau Bridges — as the college muckety-mucks, then has them act like boobs.

  Topics: Reviews , Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Richardson,  More more >
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