Lowbacca’s review published on Letterboxd:
The premise immediately reminded me of the 80s film Mask with Eric Stoltz and Cher. However, this film seems to go much deeper and, in its own way, is probably even more powerful.
Elizabeth Hartman made her debut in this film as a blind young woman at 18, Selina. With that in mind, I'm quite impressed with her performance, as she came in to what I think was a challenging role, yet did a very good job. I do think the role was played a bit overly naive or possibly saccharine, but she still seems very sincere. She's on screen, though, with two great actors. Gordon, Sidney Poitier, meets Selina in the park and begins to introduce her to parts of the world that she'd never been exposed to, spending most of her life never going outside. Poitier is great, as he so often is, although he seems a bit detached from the character earlier on in the film where it feels a little awkward, but it improves going forward. As Rose-ann is Shelley Winters, in a very convincing performance as Selina's mother, who is cruel and somewhat abusive to her. Winters did a great job in the role, and I wasn't at all surprised to find out after the fact that she won an Oscar for this role, as the dark nature of Rose-ann is just radiated from the screen.
The storyline is great, and I think it takes a very interesting route at exploring bigotry and prejudice of a few different sorts. What impresses me most with the movie, though, is how all of this was put together into a single film. Some of the usages of editing and music were extremely well executed and just stick with me afterwards as they created these very complete, packaged moments that are easy to recall.
I feel like it's a shame that I'd never even heard of this before watching it; it's a film with a great message that is put together so well, and features such great performances that this is definitely one of my top films that Poitier was in.