Their Eyes Were Watching God (film)

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Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God (DVD cover).jpg
Directed by Darnell Martin
Produced by Matthew Carlisle
Quincy Jones
Oprah Winfrey
Written by Zora Neale Hurston (novel)
Suzan-Lori Parks (teleplay)
Misan Sagay (teleplay)
Bobby Smith, Jr. (teleplay)
Starring Halle Berry
Michael Ealy
Music by Terence Blanchard
Distributed by ABC
Harpo Films
Touchstone Television
Release date
  • March 16, 2005 (2005-03-16)
Running time
113 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American Broadcasting Company television film that aired on March 6, 2005 at 9 p.m. EDT. It is based upon Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Darnell Martin and produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions (Winfrey served as the host for the broadcast). Its teleplay was by Suzan-Lori Parks, Misan Sagay, and Bobby Smith, Jr.



Sharon L. Jones, an English professor at Wright State University writes that the film bears no comparison to the novel. The novel emphasizes Janie's life journey of living with others who try to help to establish identity for her; therefore, she struggles to find such an identity. However, Jones says the film leaves out many important concepts that help convey the central theme. She says that it is believed that Harpo's production focused the movie on the general idea of love more to reach a broad range of audience since most of her viewers are white females.[1]

Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times comments on Halle Berry's performance as Janie. She states that out of all the actresses, Halle Berry excels at acting Janie's role. She pinpoints that the sexual scenes that Berry acts impacts viewers greatly to the point where they will definitely not forget the movie.[citation needed]

Ester Iverem, a journalist, states that the movie stands out for its Black romance and sexuality. She also mentions the chemistry seen between Halle Berry and Michael Ealy. Their acting skills as each other's lover is what makes this movie stand out beyond its natural storyline. She furthers her thoughts by stating that the romance and sexuality seen in the movie are topics that compare to the romance and sexuality described in Hurston's novel.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awarding Body Award Nominee Result
Satellite Awards Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television Ruben Santiago-Hudson nomination
Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Michael Ealy, Ruben Santiago-Hudson nomination
Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Halle Berry nomination
Outstanding TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special nomination
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television Halle Berry nomination
Emmy Awards Outstanding Hairstyling for a Mini-Series, Movie or a Special Alan D'Angerio, Barbara Lorenz nomination
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie Halle Berry nomination
DGA Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television Darnell Martin nomination
CDG Awards Outstanding Costume Design for Television Movie/Mini-Series Eduardo Castro nomination
Black Reel Awards Best Actor - Television Michael Ealy winner
Best Actress - Television Halle Berry nomination
Best Director - Television Darnell Martin nomination
Best Film - Television nominated
Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted - Television Suzan-Lori Parks, Misan Sagay, Bobby Smith Jr nomination
Best Supporting Actor - Television Ruben Santiago-Hudson nomination
Best Supporting Actress Nicky Micheaux nomination
Black Movie Awards Outstanding Television Movie Kate Forte, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew Carlisle nomination
Austin Film Critics Association Breakthrough Artist Award Terrence Howard winner
American Cinema Editors, USA Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Commercial Television Peter C. Frank nomination


  1. ^ Jones, Sharon Lynette (2009). Critical Companion to Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work. Infobase Publishing. pp. 218–. ISBN 0816068852. Retrieved Nov 2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]