About twenty years ago, the long-awaited adaptation of Toni Morrison's shattering novel Beloved finally made it to theaters and was greeted with a generally lukewarm response. The uncredited critic for The Guardian flippantly titled their review, "Beloved? Not likely," before describing the movie as "stillborn," astonishingly bad, cheesy, sanctimonious, and rife with stereotypes. (To compare a long-suffering matriarch, a "sturdy mother with a tree of scars whipped into her back," to a Blaxploitation heroine, as this critic does, is truly insulting.) One wonders if the writer of the Guardian review is male or female, since the bulk of their disdain arises from Oprah Winfrey's ambition and dedication to the project—she had bought the rights in 1987, shortly after the novel was released—and their vitriolic pan has the whiff of outraged sexism (how dare Winfrey use her clout to support a project that she thought was culturally significant?! and would this critic have been similarly miffed if that producer-star had been a man?). The Guardian review is only the most acerbic example of the film's critical response, which ranged from negative to indifferent: the Washington Post called it "remorseless and relentless," "tragedy degraded to pulp"; Entertainment Weekly said it is "weighted down by...crushing ponderousness" and described it as "a labor"; CNN outright called it one of the worst movies of the year.