The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
12
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An African-American woman becomes an unwitting pioneer for medical breakthroughs when her cells are used to create the first immortal human cell line in the early 1950s.

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firefly5
Feb 15, 2018

I gave this one star for subject matter. The acting is terrible, Oprah cannot act, she is over-the-top silly and always loud and the journalist is just too cheerful, always has a toothy grin and a silly giggle.

However, this movie has interested me enough to research the subject matter further and I am learning many things about the HeLa cells I did not know before watching this movie.

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ladydrummer
Feb 09, 2018

Turned it off after 15 minutes or so. Thought it was about the HeLa cells and Henrietta's life, but it seemed to be about the writing of the book. The author's character was tremendously annoying. Oprah can ruin a lot of things, unfortunately. Sad to see that this was one of them.

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evro66
Feb 01, 2018

I really liked the book. As for this movie, I think maybe only big fans of Oprah might like it. And, well, I'm not her fan.
So I didn't finish watching it, stopped somewhere in the middle.

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poodlegirl
Jan 25, 2018

It was a 5-star book and very engrossing. I'm afraid Oprah (whom I LOVE in other arenas) didn't put it to screen in a way that I found effective at all. The reporter was really lame (make her voice stop!). It is a must-know story however and I recommend reading it.

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wildct2003
Jan 15, 2018

Good adaptation of the book. Engrossing.

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lindy919
Nov 24, 2017

Interesting topic (of which I had no idea) however, aside for a few minutes at the beginning and some tidbits here and there, there is very little about Henrietta Lacks. Its mostly about the reporter (writer of the book) and the Lacks decendants, most of whom seem crazy. If I were a reader, which I am not, I would pick up the book which gets rave reviews compared to the film.

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loriroshelle
Nov 05, 2017

I felt this movie did a disservice to the issue of the HeLa cells story. It was used as a vehicle to allow Oprah some dramatic acting credit. The story of Henretta Lacks and the HeLa cells was secondary.
Also I felt the way the family was presented in the movie was disrespectful. They were portrayed as ignorant and mentally unstable.
The movie hopefully did educate more people about Henretta Lacks's contribution to science. But, in the future hopefully someone else will create a better film.

r
Raun
Oct 31, 2017

If you are really interested in this subject, the harvesting and propagating of human cells, read the book. The movie doesn't do it justice but it does give visuals for some of the places in Henrietta's biography and the players bring to life the characters of her life. Without knowing the background from the book, the movie is quite mystifying in places.

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graybear2
Oct 31, 2017

I suspect the movie did not live up to the book, but not having read it, I couldn't say. Despite a wonderful performance by Oprah Winfrey, I just seemed rather disjointed; didn't flow very well. Although Rose Byrne looks a lot like the book's author, I just thought she was miscast in this role. Nonetheless, it is an important piece of work for shedding light on yet more shameful activities by people in power towards those who are not.

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LauraSteinert
Oct 07, 2017

Strangely moving. A compelling look at the trauma of a family who lost the mother. Is it possible that the hospital actually used her as a guinea pig? Probably. Was the sister who died in one of the worst mental hospitals in the country a victim of abuse that resulted in her death? It seems plausible. But the main story is one woman's fight for answers about who her mother was. The family may have wanted money, but this woman just wanted to understand the impossible to imagine. (I deducted one star because Rose Byrne was just too, too chirpy. Was anyone ever that young and happy?)

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