Posts Tagged ‘Melina Matsoukas’

Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith

“QUEEN & SLIM” My rating: B

131 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“Bonnie and Clyde” (or perhaps “Thelma and Louise”) meet Black Lives Matter in “Queen and Slim,” the impressive feature film directing debut of television and video veteran Melina Matsoukas.

Penned by Lena Waithe (an Emmy winner for her writing for Netflix’s “Master of None”) from a story by James Frey, this tale of lovers on the run soars on a pair of killer perfs from stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith.

We meet Queen and Slim — they have real names but we won’t learn them until the movie’s end — in the midst of a disastrous first Tinder date.  Queen (Turner-Smith) is a lawyer bummed because one of her clients has received the death penalty.  She called up Slim because she likes his looks and because she badly needs to vent to someone.

They’re about as different as can be. She’s angry, cynical, judgmental and, on some level, elitist.

He says grace before eating (even in restaurants), has a license plate that reads “Trust God,” works at Costco, doesn’t drink and maintains a live-and-let-live attitude. He eats with his mouth open; she’s grossed out.

He’s driving her home after what will surely be their one and only date when they’re pulled over by a cop. A white cop (played very well by country star Sturgill Simpson).  Things quickly escalate when the hot-headed Queen throws accusations at the officer. Within seconds she has a bullet hole in her leg and the policeman is dead, shot by Slim with his own service weapon.

Slim wants to stay put; Queen quickly convinces him he’ll be shot on sight.

“We can’t just leave him here.”

“Yes we can.”

“I’m not a criminal.”

“You are now.”

They take off with a vague plan to find Queen’s uncle in New Orleans and then, maybe, catch a plane to Cuba. (more…)

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