entertainment,  Film Reviews

Where Children Play


Living with your parents is hard when you’re an adult.  Why?  Because no matter how grown you think you are…to your parents, you are always that little girl or boy they raised to be a responsible citizen.

In the latest film from Leila Djansi, Bellisima McCain (Teyonah Parris) finds herself in the difficult position of returning home to nurse her abusive father (Leon Robinson) after her mother’s (Edwina Finley Dickerson) death.

Belle never found a bright future because she was running away from a heartbreaking past. Her mother’s passing brings Belle back home to her family and the painful memories she ‘s desperately tried to leave behind. When she discovers the strength to confront her family’s shameful history,  Belle learns that forgiveness has the power to heal the scars and unlock her heart to the possibility of love.

Imagine a girl, who one day discovers the ugly truth that her parents are not living that happily ever-after married life.  As devastating as it can be, there’s nothing worse than finding out your Dad is not going to be that “knight in shining armor” type of dude either.  Not to mention, every male relationship for the rest of her life will be scrutinized for reasons unbenownst to the poor dude getting the third degree or no love at all.

Having been a huge fan of Leon Robinson from his many other films like “Cool Runnings”, “The Five Heartbeats”, “The Little Richard Story” and so many others, I was excited to sit down and watch more of his work.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a side of Leon never revealed onscreen.

As David McCain, Leon proves that he is truly more than a pretty face and some abs.  Delving deep into the dark psyche of an abuser and pulling it off with flying colors, I think this is one of his finest performances to date.

Right on his heels are the multifaceted and talented dolls Teyonah Parris and Edwina Finley-Dickerson.  Teyonah is having a great year in 2015 (she is the star of the new Spike Lee joint – ChiRaq) and her performance here will break your heart.  Edwina Finley-Dickerson is the chameleon of the bunch.  That doll can do ANYTHING!!!

However, Macy Gray (Helen Harold) as that one Aunt who guilt’s you into everything is showing another layer to her acting arsenal as well. It’s always lovely to see her onscreen and this performance is her most grounded and well-rounded one to date…in my humble opinion.

“Where Children Play” is a film that will leave you wondering…what would you do if your parent needed you and you don’t want to help.  Think about it…

You can catch “Where Children Play” on VOD via iTunes and Amazon.com.

Take a listen to an interview I did with Leon to discuss his character, the film and chat about a few blasts from the past.

Leon Robinson Interview



I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch), African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY, RogerEbert.com, Maltin on Movies, The Cherry Picks, IGN Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Mondays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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