Lilies of the Field Reviews

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Mar 31, 2019

    It's all about timing, and the time (1963) was right for this hopefully uplifting take on racism. Sidney Portier plays a traveling construction worker gulled into building a chapel for some transplanted East German nuns out in the middle-of-nowhere. A lot of it is obvious pandering anymore, sure, but the sentiment beneath allows some little forgiveness for it's many failings (like the obvious overdubbing of Portier's voice for the sing-along portions.

    It's all about timing, and the time (1963) was right for this hopefully uplifting take on racism. Sidney Portier plays a traveling construction worker gulled into building a chapel for some transplanted East German nuns out in the middle-of-nowhere. A lot of it is obvious pandering anymore, sure, but the sentiment beneath allows some little forgiveness for it's many failings (like the obvious overdubbing of Portier's voice for the sing-along portions.

  • Mar 07, 2019

    Lilies of the Field is a nice blend of comedy and drama that highlights the value that can come from helping others while putting aside selfish ambition. Sidney Poitier is his normal charming self in the film as Homer Smith, an itinerant handyman. He kept me invested at times when the plot was moving at a slower pace. I thought the movie had a surprising amount of humor because the interaction between Poitier and the nuns was a fun juxtaposition of different personalities. I loved that the movie wasn’t focused on the fact that he was black, because that feels like a cheap method of creating drama other movies would attempt. Instead he’s just an actor filling a role that could have been played by an actor of any color. The story isn’t the most complex, because it’s mostly about building a chapel and the fact that a group of nuns believe God has sent Homer to do that for them. The film feels a tad long, because there isn’t enough conflict or struggle to support the full runtime. They try creating a new point of conflict late in the film when the chapel construction starts moving along, but I felt that was fairly weak and didn’t make sense based on things established from the beginning. However, it still works because one of the central questions the movie asks us to contemplate is if we would give of ourselves with no personal reward. That’s the theme that plays into all of Homer’s struggles. Lilies of the Field is a charming little film, and one that I’d happily watch again, but it didn’t have quite enough to hook me or make me want to own it.

    Lilies of the Field is a nice blend of comedy and drama that highlights the value that can come from helping others while putting aside selfish ambition. Sidney Poitier is his normal charming self in the film as Homer Smith, an itinerant handyman. He kept me invested at times when the plot was moving at a slower pace. I thought the movie had a surprising amount of humor because the interaction between Poitier and the nuns was a fun juxtaposition of different personalities. I loved that the movie wasn’t focused on the fact that he was black, because that feels like a cheap method of creating drama other movies would attempt. Instead he’s just an actor filling a role that could have been played by an actor of any color. The story isn’t the most complex, because it’s mostly about building a chapel and the fact that a group of nuns believe God has sent Homer to do that for them. The film feels a tad long, because there isn’t enough conflict or struggle to support the full runtime. They try creating a new point of conflict late in the film when the chapel construction starts moving along, but I felt that was fairly weak and didn’t make sense based on things established from the beginning. However, it still works because one of the central questions the movie asks us to contemplate is if we would give of ourselves with no personal reward. That’s the theme that plays into all of Homer’s struggles. Lilies of the Field is a charming little film, and one that I’d happily watch again, but it didn’t have quite enough to hook me or make me want to own it.

  • Feb 01, 2019

    The best inspiring movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Sidney Poitier as Homer Smith!

    The best inspiring movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Sidney Poitier as Homer Smith!

  • Feb 22, 2018

    A low budget movie with a GREAT story wonderful characters and a winning combination of actors, story, setting and timeless humanity

    A low budget movie with a GREAT story wonderful characters and a winning combination of actors, story, setting and timeless humanity

  • Apr 24, 2016

    just saw this film- was a wonderful movie about finding faith in a most unusual situation between many lines

    just saw this film- was a wonderful movie about finding faith in a most unusual situation between many lines

  • Jan 05, 2016

    The first film I've seen Sidney Poitier in that isn't about race. It's actually quite hard to pigeon hole his film at all but I think it was supposed to be a comedy. It's generally awkward viewing as the acting is pretty suspect and the story is pretty silly.

    The first film I've seen Sidney Poitier in that isn't about race. It's actually quite hard to pigeon hole his film at all but I think it was supposed to be a comedy. It's generally awkward viewing as the acting is pretty suspect and the story is pretty silly.

  • Oct 11, 2015

    Poitiers playful and loving performance....Skalas stubborn but hysterical nun....Liles of the Field is a simple piece of art.

    Poitiers playful and loving performance....Skalas stubborn but hysterical nun....Liles of the Field is a simple piece of art.

  • Aug 31, 2015

    Good movie if a bit empty.

    Good movie if a bit empty.

  • May 01, 2015

    Sidney Poitier is great as always in this his Oscar winning performance and the movie is nice. It isn't anything amazing it's just nice. Lillian Skala also gives a great performance and it has a nice score

    Sidney Poitier is great as always in this his Oscar winning performance and the movie is nice. It isn't anything amazing it's just nice. Lillian Skala also gives a great performance and it has a nice score

  • Feb 11, 2015

    Well-intentioned, feel-good movie. However fairly syrupy and predictable. The movie had great ideals: people of different races and nationalities working together to aid the community. However, the writer and director are hardly subtle in the way they go about their soapboxing. The story hasn't aged well either, as the age and nationality divide aspect was much more relevant in the 1960s. Furthermore, it just comes across as unrealistic and contrived: eg labourer works for a group of nuns for a day, expecting to get paid by the end of it, doesn't, but, instead of leaving, works for them for a few more days, and is surprised when he, once again, gets screwed at paying time. Then sticks around for a few more months and is once again surprised when they don't pay him or even buy materials. This said, despite being overly and overtly idealistic and syrupy sweet, and fairly predictable in its motives and plot, the movie does have a feel-good quality to it which makes it worth watching. Good performance by Sidney Poitier in the lead role. Worth noting that this is the only performance he won an Oscar for. Considering his other work, eg In the Heat of The Night, A Patch of Blue, The Defiant Ones, this is very surprising. The Defiant Ones was his only other nomination, in fact.

    Well-intentioned, feel-good movie. However fairly syrupy and predictable. The movie had great ideals: people of different races and nationalities working together to aid the community. However, the writer and director are hardly subtle in the way they go about their soapboxing. The story hasn't aged well either, as the age and nationality divide aspect was much more relevant in the 1960s. Furthermore, it just comes across as unrealistic and contrived: eg labourer works for a group of nuns for a day, expecting to get paid by the end of it, doesn't, but, instead of leaving, works for them for a few more days, and is surprised when he, once again, gets screwed at paying time. Then sticks around for a few more months and is once again surprised when they don't pay him or even buy materials. This said, despite being overly and overtly idealistic and syrupy sweet, and fairly predictable in its motives and plot, the movie does have a feel-good quality to it which makes it worth watching. Good performance by Sidney Poitier in the lead role. Worth noting that this is the only performance he won an Oscar for. Considering his other work, eg In the Heat of The Night, A Patch of Blue, The Defiant Ones, this is very surprising. The Defiant Ones was his only other nomination, in fact.