I wasn't sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a nice cast, I thought I should give it a try anyway. The usual complain concerning this movie would be that the whole thing is too sentimental, syrupy and not really realistic. Personally, I thought the main issue was that there were too many characters and too many sub-plots (the main character has killed her mother when she was 4 years old, she then ran away from her violent father, you have also some racial issues, the civil rights movement, some mental illness, 2 love stories including one interracial, some religious stuff, some honey making and I'm probably forgetting a few things...). Some of it was actually pretty good but it was just way too much and the whole thing was eventually rather unsatisfying. Still, there were many good things about this flick, especially the cast which was pretty good (Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Hudson, Paul Bettany). I wasn't so sure about Okonedo but Alicia Keys was really impressive and it's too bad her character didn't get more time and space. Dakota Fanning was also really good, she was just an amazing professional, at such a young age. To conclude, in spite of its flaws, it remains a well made drama and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.