Movie: Woman, Thou Art Loosed

Our Rating: 2.00

An unabashed commercial for the ministry of evangelical Bishop T.D. Jakes, this urban melodrama doesn't miss a chance to interrupt its tragedy-surfeited narrative with scenes of Jakes proselytizing grandly from the pulpit. The rub is that his smooth oration proves at least as interesting as the actual plot, in which a death-row inmate (Kimberly Elise) looks back on a lifetime of hard luck and bad choices. Her trip down memory lane encompasses sexual abuse, drug addiction and attempted homicide Ã? all of it rendered with an amateurish reliance on scripted harangues, direct address and other expository crutches. Director Michael Schultz exerts inadequate control over some promising performances that belong in a better movie than this laundry list of sisterly grievances. I'm tempted to call the movie an incursion on Oprah's territory, but it's closer to being an even-more-dramatized episode of Rolonda. Remember her?

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