American filmmaker Melina Matsoukas has been a decorated name in the music video industry for a while and has worked with the biggest popstars in the business. In recent years, she’s transitioned into television and has now made her directorial debut in film with romantic crime drama Queen & Slim. The story begins as defence attorney Angela (Jodie Turner-Smith) goes on a Tinder date with Earnest (Daniel Kaluuya) at a grubby local diner. On the drive home, they are pulled over by the police and an altercation with a white male cop rapidly escalates. Impulsively, they decide to run from the law, and a nationwide manhunt for ‘cop killers’ quickly ensues.Continue reading “Film review: Queen & Slim”
It’s been five years since the release of director Steve McQueen’s slave trade epic 12 Years a Slave, and now he is back to explore racial divide again in heist thriller Widows. Co-written with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, the story is based on Lynda La Plante’s 1980s crime series but has been shipped from London to modern day America for this adaptation. When an armed robbery goes terribly wrong, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) are left with no spouses and a lot of problems. They’re indebted to corrupt politician Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), who is embroiled in a dirty campaign against mayor Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) to be alderman of a Chicago district. However, as Veronica lays her hands on her late husband’s notes for an upcoming job, she hatches an ambitious plan to settle the arrears.
When films are described and discussed, we have a tendency to pigeonhole them into categories, grouping those of similar style or genre together. Every now and then, projects come along that are so refreshingly original that it proves to be more challenging to pin them down in this way, and that is definitely the case with Get Out. Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Jordan Peele, the story centres around Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man who is invited by his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to spend the weekend at her parent’s house. Despite his reservations that he may be treated differently because of the colour of his skin, he arrives at the suburban country home of surgeon Dean (Bradley Whitford) and psychiatrist Missy (Catherine Keener), where he is introduced to their black servants.