When I first saw "The Color Purple" years ago, I was astounded. Now, seeing it more recently, I'm even more blown away. Why this did not win for best picture is beyond me. Perhaps it was because the movie was ahead of its time. Maybe it was because racism is still alive and well. I don't know, but it remans one of the all time great films and for so many reasons.
First, the casting is absolutely perfect. Oprah is incredible and Whoopi is a revelation. Everyone else fits perfectly and the melding of acting and emotions reaches such a peak that it's impossible to forget that this is "just" a movie and not real life that you're watching.
Secondly, the filming, pacing, and directing are perfect. The colors are remarkable and Spielberg's direction is flawless. We're taken by the hand through a journey that crosses the ages and comes out on top. Few other directors could manage this, this well, and it's surprising that Mr. S could work so well in so many genres, but especially one dealing with this subject material.
The movie is disturbing, make no bones about that. And it shows not only white racism, but the bad way African Americans treated each other. The ending, however, makes it all worthwhile. No spoilers here, but let's just say that you'll need a tissue for the last ten minutes.
Hands down one of the best films ever, I'd also recommend "The Illusionist" and the movie "Bright Young Things" for some new Independent films that you probably won't see in theatres. All-in-all, great.