Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pariah - Review


Written & Directed by Dee Rees

Producers - Spike Lee, Jeff Robinson, Sam Martin, Mary Jane Skalski, Stefan Nowicki, Benjamin Weber, Joey Carey & Nekisa Cooper

Cinematography by Bradford Young

Adepero Oduye - Alike
Pernell Walker - Laura
Charles Parnell - Arthur
Kim Wayans - Audrey
Aasha Davis - Bina
Sahra Mellesse - Sharonda

Released: January 21, 2011 (Sundance), December 28, 2011 (United States)

Summary: The story of Alike (Adepero Oduye), a 17-year old African–American teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian.

A good movie makes you feel, feel something real. And Pariah makes you feel something real. Most teenagers have issues and a gay teenager’s issues are unlike any other.

Through the exceptional performance of Adepero Oduye you feel the lead character Alike’s (pronounced A-leak-kay) vulnerability and reticence about her life and sexual identity.  While there are very slight deviations, this story is All About Alike. The story adeptly leads you into her world and her interactions with her family. The story doesn’t downplay anything and it doesn’t get into histrionics either. You can feel Alike’s uneasy relationship with her mother and her easy going relationship with her father and sister. The family knows about Alike even if they can’t admit it to themselves or each other.  

The performances in the film are for the most part GREAT. Alike’s family members do a great job from her mother Audrey (Kim Wayans) to her father Arthur (Charles Parnell) her little sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse). Also turning in great performances are her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker) and her new friend Bina (Aasha Davis). No surprise, I’ve seen a lot of films and these are simply the BEST performances I’ve seen from ANY film in 2011.

Pariah was a wonderful film with wonderful writing and direction by Dee Rees. I think the ONLY thing keeping it from getting more widespread awards recognition is its scaled down production budget. The ONLY thing.

I tweeted the star of the film as soon as it was over and I meant every word. You can see the tweet below.
CLICK for bigger view

Additional Info
  • Pariah did win a lot of awards; it premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Excellence in Cinematography Award. Read about more awards at Wikipedia here
You can read more about the writer/director of Pariah Dee Rees at the articles below

Los Angeles Times
‘Pariah’ director Dee Rees' odd path: bunion pads to Spike Lee
January 5, 2012
Read it here

Huffington Post
Dee Rees' 'Pariah' And Hollywood's Inability To Include Black Americans
January 9, 2012
Read it here

You can see the star of Pariah Adepero Oduye in a great short film here on the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Blog right here

Lastly this is the tweet I tweeted to the production company behind Pariah, Northstar Pictures that was retweeeted by them and their distributor Focus Features
CLICK for bigger view

Special SHOUT OUT to Focus Features for getting this film IN THEATERS in my town (Baltimore). I read about a lot of great films that I never get to see until they are released on DVD and I’m SO GLAD I had a chance to see this one before then.

MARCH 1, 2012
Pariah will be on Video/DVD: April 24, 2012

APRIL 10, 2012
Focus Features Tweeted that Pariah is now on iTunes!


Candice Frederick said...

so glad you enjoyed this!

Dankwa Brooks said...

Really, really wonderful!