LIFE, LOVE, SOUL (terrible title, but the film's quite good) was chosen to inaugurate the first annual Fatherhood Image Film Festival, which begins tomorrow -- Monday, August 5 -- up in Harlem. It's all about fatherhood: one that went missing and another that's about to begin. The movie may come off like an After School Special made full-length (its concerns are baldly stated, though they grab us nonetheless), but there is simply no denying the importance of the situation the movie creates nor the strength of the performances that bring that situation to pulsating life.
The film's writer, director, producer and music supervisor, Noel Calloway (at left), may not yet fully understand how to meld his story and theme into something seamless, rhythmic and interestingly paced. Right now, he's all about just getting it up there on the screen. And he's done that -- while giving his actors some prime situations to negotiate, along with some very good dialog to help them do it. No surprise: They all rise to the occasion like the pros they are.
Tami Roman (above, of Basketball Wives), and though her screen time is short, she's commands it completely. Chad Coleman essays the difficult role of Rose's estranged father, who seems made of equal parts guilt, anger and buried love. Mr Coleman (below, of The Walking Dead and The Wire) is, by turns, scary, moving, immediate and real.
Mia Michelle, shown below with Mr. Tate-Brickle), and a teacher/counselor who takes a strong interest in his new star student (Jamie Hector, from The Wire).
Tamara Faye, shown below, with Mr. Coleman, who plays Rose's stepmother, Jennifer, with great affection, patience and caring. It is her character who helps negotiate for both her husband and his son that tricky road toward detente.