*The issues of race and child custody collide big time in writer-director Mike Binder’s new film “Black or White.”
Kevin Costner stars as widower Elliot Anderson, who lost his wife in a car accident and has raised his granddaughter Eloise since his daughter died giving birth.
While still mourning his wife, the child’s black grandmother Rowena, played by Octavia Spencer, suddenly demands that Eloise be raised by her son – the child’s biological father Reggie (Andre Holland) – a drug addict whom Elliot blames for the negligence that led to his daughter’s death.
The shared-custody battle puts Kramer Vs. Kramer to shame, as both Rowena and Elliot engage in an epic tug-o-war over their biracial grandchild.
Elliot, who is financially well-off, knows the child will have stability, receive a great education and want for nothing if she remains with him. Rowena, however, insists that love is more important than money, and that her son Reggie and their extended family can provide that in great abundance.
In forming her character, Spencer says she put herself in Rowena’s situation.
“For me, I had to come from a place of what was best for the child, and I felt that both worlds were necessary in making a complete child, especially a biracial child, feel complete and loved,” the Oscar winner said during a recent press conference for the film.
Below, Spencer reveals that Costner has always been her favorite actor, and Binder her favorite director – but the two men are not buying it.
“Black or White” opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 30.
Watch the trailer below: