Mister Johnson (1991)
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 687
Director Bruce Beresford followed up his Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy with another meditation on race, Mister Johnson. Set in West Africa in 1923, Johnson (Maynard Eziashi), the clerk of British administrator Harry Rudbeck (Pierce Brosnan), attempts everything within his power to ingratiate himself into white society. Johnson hatches a plan to juggle the books so that Rudbeck will have the capital necessary to achieve his ultimate dream of a "great northern road," but when his scheme
Jun 1, 1991 Wide
Jan 29, 1992
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Beresford, adapting Joyce Cary's 1939 novel, looks at the psychological relationships inherent in colonialism with some subtlety.
Beresford and writer William Boyd have delivered a film strangely devoid of emotion and lacking a clear point of view.
The film works well as far as it goes, but some of the story's emotional power is denatured or lost.
I have seen "Mister Johnson" two times, and both times I admired its sense of time and place, and the thoughtful performances of Eziashi, Brosnan and Woodward.
No great friend of colonialism, Beresford makes his point without losing sight of either history or its mostly unsung heroes.
Although this colonial satire has intelligent aims, it's always a degree or two off the mark.
To both the humane Rudbeck, intelligently played by Pierce Brosnan, and the abusive drunkard Gollup, Johnson is a cipher.
This just doesn't really work, but then, neither did the novel.
A richly nuanced and well-acted screen version of Joyce Cary's 1839 novel.
Issues of race and racism here are as vague as they were in Driving Miss Daisy, and you are left with the impression Beresford is happy to dodge the issues he dabbles with.
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