• Movie

Paule Marshall’s haunting novel about the Brooklyn family of a black jazz musician who left home to find fame in Paris, The Fisher King, sneaks up on you like a deceptively simple tune that’s impossible to forget. It’s actually a complicated story of ambition, disappointment, love, and betrayal — one that moves easily back and forth in time, and all the more astonishing for being seen through the eyes of an 8-year-old Parisian boy, the grandson and namesake of pianist Sonny-Rett Payne. Little Sonny and his caretaker Hattie are lured from Paris, ”a city nearly always in tears,” back to Brooklyn for a memorial concert in honor of the boy’s grandfather. There Sonny finds himself acting as a go-between for his two warring great-grandmothers while the family tries to heal long-festering wounds. The revelations unfold without fanfare, but each note rings true. B+

The Fisher King
  • Movie
  • R
  • 137 minutes
  • Terry Gilliam