The Courage To Love

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Historical, Romance

Don’t let the made-for-TV atmosphere turn you away from this one; there’s unexpected depth and substance beneath the flimsy period-drama veneer. The story is set during the 1800s in New Orleans, a cosmopolitan city where many cultures converged and many blacks rose to prominent social positions, escaping the rigid racial servitude prevalent across the...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Rachel Liebling
Rating:

Don’t let the made-for-TV atmosphere turn you away from this one; there’s unexpected depth and substance beneath the flimsy period-drama veneer. The story is set during the 1800s in New Orleans, a cosmopolitan city where many cultures converged and many blacks rose to prominent social positions, escaping the rigid racial servitude prevalent across the antebellum South. Interracial relationships were not uncommon. Though not often sanctified by legal marriage, it was possible for a black woman to enjoy the prestige, accoutrements and a wife-like status while being mistress to a wealthy white man. Based on a true story, Vanessa Williams portrays Henriette Delille, the mulatto daughter of Baptiste (Stacey Keach), a rich white entrepreneur and his black mistress (Diahann Carroll). The uncharacteristically progressive social bubble of New Orleans is burst as Civil War strife encroaches, and Henriette is suddenly thrown into poverty when her father dumps her mother for a more socially acceptable catch. Her whole world turned upside down, Henriette rebels against the racial hypocrisy that left her destitute, and sets out to right society’s wrongs as a nurse in a charity hospital for the poor. Here she falls for Gerard (Gil Bellows), a dashing and morally upstanding white doctor, who will prove his love by marrying her; an act of defiance that could destroy his career. Henriette loves Gerard passionately, but his parents will never accept the match and their marriage would subject her to constant assault from uppercrust white society. It is a difficult challenge to explore the complexities of race and slavery in 19th century America, and this film succeeds admirably in addressing the controversial topic with a palette far more vivid that just black and white.

CAST:

Vanessa L. Williams: Henriette Delille

Gil Bellows: Gerard Gaultier

Diahann Carroll: Pouponne

Stacy Keach: Baptiste

Karen Williams: Julie Gadin

Lisa Bronwyn Moore: Marie Alicot

David La Haye: Father Rousselon

Cynda Williams: Cecelia Delille

Eddie Bo Smith Jr.: Jacques

Graeme Somerville: Paul Cartier

Kevin Jubinville: Frank Morgan

Susannah Hoffman:Anne Morgan

Jean-Louis Roux: Bishop Blanc

Lise Roy: Mother Superior

Raven Dauda: Betsie

CREW:

Executive producers: Gord Haines, Jacques Méthé, Emily Gerson Saines,

Vanessa L. Williams

Producers: Stéphane Reichel, Jean Desormeaux, Ron Ziskin

Director: Kari Skogland

Writers: Heather Hale, Toni Ann Johnson

Cinematography: Jonathan Freeman II

Film Editor: Isabelle Lévesque

Original music: Christopher Dedrick

Casting: Nadia Rona, Claire Walker

Production Design: Linda Matheson

Art Direction: Jean-François Campeau

Costume Design: Linda Matheson

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Don’t let the made-for-TV atmosphere turn you away from this one; there’s unexpected depth and substance beneath the flimsy period-drama veneer. The story is set during the 1800s in New Orleans, a cosmopolitan city where many cultures converged and many bl… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »