A Man Named Pearl (2008)
Critic Consensus: Though it lacks moviemaking polish, A Man Named Pearl is redeemed by the interest -- and uplift -- generated by its subject.
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Critic Reviews for A Man Named Pearl
In its own modest fashion, the film does capture a sense of the intuitive craftsmanship, pride and determination that drive the self-taught artist.
Fryar is such pleasant company that the film's weaknesses can be overlooked.
A Man Named Pearl not only makes you want to get out there and play Edward Scissorhands but can, at least for its 78 jazz-and-gospel infused minutes, help replenish one's faith in humanity.
Assembled without frills or fuss, A Man Named Pearl is as much a portrait of a small Southern town as of an unassuming black folk artist.
Audience Reviews for A Man Named Pearl
Reminiscent of early Errol Morris films, "A Man Named Pearl" is an inspiring documentary about topiary gardening and how one man can affect the world around him for the better. And nowhere is that more needed than Bishopville, SC, located between Columbia and Florence, which is in the poorest county of a poor state. The solution comes in the person of Pearl Fryar, son of a sharecropper, and his impressive topiary garden, achieved without any formal training. It's a good thing because then he might have realized what he was doing was impossible. People come in buses to see his garden which brings tourist dollars to the area and in return, he brings his gardens to downtown. All of which at the age of 66 makes him the unlikeliest of sex symbols. Pearl, who happens to be black, is surprised that his best friend is the daughter of a lawyer and a lot of his friends shown are white while all of his neighbors are black. Even though Pearl's hero is Jackie Robinson, who would have thought we would be talking about segregation in the twenty-first century?
A simple straightforward U.S documentary about Pearl Fryar, family man, amateur gardener and visionnary. He started small, aiming to win best heighbourhood garden, and just kept going until X years later and the film shows what he created in all its unique beauty. With everbody around him now jumping enthusiastically on the commerical bandwagon.. in particular the local reverend making sure God gets most of the credit.... Pearl just keeps quietly doing what he's always done, trimming those hedges.
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