FILM REVIEW: TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL
PREMIERES MARCH 8 ON LIFEITME
Starring Two-Time Emmy Winner, Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominee, SAG and Tony® Award Winner CICELY TYSON, Emmy and Grammy® Nominee VANESSA WILLIAMS, Golden Globe Nominee and Grammy Winner BLAIR UNDERWOOD and SAG Nominee KEKE PALMER
This year’s Tony Award nominated Broadway revival hit The Trip to Bountiful comes to Lifetime on Saturday, March 8 at 8 pm ET/PT starring original cast members Cicely Tyson (The Help) and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), who are joined by Blair Underwood (In Treatment) alongside Keke Palmer (CrazySexyCool).
Based on Oscar®, Pulitzer Prize, and Emmy Award winning author Horton Foote’s Tony Award nominated play, The Trip to Bountiful is a courageous and moving story of liberation, as well as a humor-filled celebration of the human spirit.
In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts, begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie (Underwood) and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae (Williams). No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful.
When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma (Palmer), a young woman traveling home.
When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.
Old hymns such as “Blessed Assurance” add layer of Southern life, simple life, and hearken to the past adding to the period texture of the film, and audiences will, through Carrie’s eyes, experience the hurts of being heartsick and the challenges of growing old. In fact, much of Carrie’s journey may be summed up when she resignedly observes, “When you live longer than your house and your family, you’ve lived too long.”
Cicely Tyson turns in a charming performance as the mischievous Carrie, and Blair Underwood is sweet, yet, conflicted as he, too, seems to be on a personal and emotional journey to a destination that is seemingly impossible to reach. Keke Palmer is a vision as the compassionate young bride who befriends Tyson along the way, and Vanessa Williams turns in the sort of agitated Southern woman performance that would make Tennessee Williams proud.
Foote originally wrote The Trip to Bountiful for television in 1953 and it made its Broadway debut in 1954. The play was adapted into a motion picture in 1985, when star Geraldine Page won an Academy Award® for Best Actress and Foote was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. In the 2013 Broadway revival, the play garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Sound Design and a win for Cicely Tyson for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Carrie Watts.
Produced by Ostar Productions, The Trip to Bountiful is executive produced by Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles), Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote and Jeff Hayes (A Day Late and a Dollar Short). Michael Wilson, who directed the celebrated play, makes his television directorial debut with this project.