This was released in early 2002, and I'd heard all about Halle Berry in it, but I hadn't seen it until this past weekend, for free on HBO... Honestly, I didn't know anything about it, other than that Berry starred, and won an Oscar for playing what I thought, just from reading reviews, was a stereotypical "proud black woman." (Seriously, I'm bored to death with the "noble, proud black woman/man" bullshit. I want to see REAL.)
This movie was sad but very true: Heath Ledger and dad Billy Bob Thornton fucking the same whore, in exactly the same way... so brave of the film-maker, and, to me, the most telling moments of the whole movie. Peter Boyle's ugly, honest old-coot asshole-ism. Berry's ugly, honest emotional/physical slapping around of her fat pre-teen son, and her honest emotional/sexual need... Thornton's ugly, honest racism.
And in the end, it was a movie about transcendence and love. In the end, after all of the utterly horrible things that had happened, I felt utterly hopeful. Not in a fake way, but truly hopeful.