I plan to read the book some day as I know the book must be better than the movie (books always are).
The main characters in the movie have a feminine regard for the Divine. It was powerful! There were so many nuances and overt ways the cinematography expressed black women of color being powerful without the source of that power linked to a man. I appreciated that and how the main characters loved, seeming to disregard the time frame (Civil Rights Era) and race in their loving.
I enjoyed seeing Queen Latifah (she had natural hair in the film) , Jennifer Hudson, and Dakota Fanning. It was wonderful to see Alicia Keys' performance too. Her character was funny, and ya know I enjoyed her little faux afro too. My favorite actress by far in this film is Sophie Okonedo. Her character, I feel, required the most depth; I knew she would rise to the challenge after watching Hotel Rwanda. Afterall, she is an Oscar nominated actress.
She also has natural hair on and off the screen:
Bottomline, go see this movie!