“Black or White” is a story of a little girl named Eloise who finds herself caught between two very different worlds and struggling to find her place in each of them. After the death of her grandmother, their love for Eloise ignites a heated custody battle between Eloise’s grandfather, Elliott, and her grandmother, Rowena; a battle that will show both grandparents that the true color of love is not black or white but a perfect marriage of both.
Although they come from two very different worlds, both Elliott and Rowena share one very important thing in common; they both love their granddaughter, Eloise.
Although she initially wants full custody of Eloise because she feels that Elliott isn’t capable of raising Eloise alone, and he would be denying Eloise the chance to be raised knowing her black heritage, in her heart, Grandmother Rowena only wants what is best for her granddaughter. Her love for Eloise is shown not only in the moments when she bonds with her granddaughter alone, but also when she allows Elliott to win custody of Eloise once she realizes that Elliott loves her granddaughter just as much as she does.
For Elliott, the loss of his wife and daughter has left him emotionally shattered. While he loves his granddaughter unconditionally, he finds himself not only struggling with the challenge of raising a child alone, but also struggling to cope with his own secret demons (alcohol and prejudice) and the custody battle with Rowena. While he is adamant that Eloise remain in his care, he is willing – albeit reluctantly – to allow Rowena and her family to have a place in his world and in his granddaughter’s life because he wants Eloise to be happy. In the end, while he does win custody of his beloved grandchild, Elliott’s love for Eloise is ultimately shown when he entrusts Eloise to her Grandmother Rowena while he withdraws to make peace with the demons in his own heart.
“Black or White” is a heartfelt and sincerely truthful story about two very different families that are made whole by their love for a child. The casting is flawless, particularly for Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer who play Elliott and Rowena. While this movie might not be for everyone, I would still highly recommend it.