Cast: Adepero Oduye, Kim Waynes
Writer & Director: Dee Rees
** and a 1/2*'s out of four.
The story of Pariah is one that many of us have seen before. A closeted gay character eventually learns to appreciate who he or she is despite the obstacles that come from peers or from family. What sets this movie apart from the rest of those is that it can appeal to both straight people as well as gay. Everyone has had moments where we had to stand up to our parents or have discovered true confidence in ourselves and this movie reaffirms those types of values.
This is Adepero Oduye's first starring role in a movie and she is quite incredible. You might remember her on the show "Louie" as the cashier the main character was trying to hook up with. This is the type of role that will help her gather more. It's a great calling card. I was also impressed with Kim Waynes as the mother in this, because I have only seen her do the sketch comedy show "In Living Color". Her character is someone you despise and yet you understand why she is so broken too. These are the types of performances most acting students should watch.
Like a lot of first time directors. Dee Rees' adapted this from a short film on the same characters she did a few years back. She has a great sense of visual style and knows how to get good performances from her characters. The only thing stopping this from getting a better rating from me is the predictable story line. I'm interested to see if she can pull off a movie that is in a different genre, but I don't want her to go another route and direct a sequel in a popular franchise either.
The trailer is what made me so damn excited to see this. I love watching people who are passionate at what they do.