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Queen & Slim

Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith, in what I think is a first motion picture performance) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya, star of Get Out) are on a date that seems to be going badly; you get the sense that they will never see each other again after this night. On the way home, they get pulled over for failing to use their turn signal. What happens during that encounter makes them fugitives and sends them on a road trip across the country while they rapidly become social media icons. I loved the film; I loved that I quickly become so connected to the two characters who have remarkable chemistry. There are elements of a lot of films here: Wild at Heart (if not quite as inventive, but Queen & Slim has its share of crazy characters along the way); Thelma and Louise (and many other road movies you can think of where two people are on the lam); and Date Night (but on the opposite side of the law). The film is frequently funny and equally serious in its dealing with themes of racial prejudice and bias. The music works well with the film. Granted, there are some places where storylines are introduced that seem like not great choices but taken as a whole, I spent the film rooting for these two, stressing when they were stressed and feeling breezy during powerfully intimate moments, and all the while expanding with their growing sense of freedom and self-understanding. Big thumbs up for a film that is equally serious and funny and in the end is a wonderful love story. (2019; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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