Film's flaws easy to ignore with star of 'Lights'

November 13, 2014 5:53 PM

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This is turning into a very good year for Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The intimations of stardom that were evident in "Belle" come into full blossom in "Beyond the Lights." As a work of art, the movie is merely on the bright side of OK. But as a vehicle for an emerging star, as a platform to show one actress in a variety of modes and moods, within a sympathetic and glamorous context, it couldn't be better.

Another way of saying this is that Mbatha-Raw is the whole picture. Those who invest in her and her journey might end up loving "Beyond the Lights," even against their will. Those who resist her and watch the movie at a remove will inevitably be put off by the ham-fisted manipulations of character a...

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