I hope you all had a relaxing Thanksgiving, but, if you spent it arguing with your family about politics, then boy do we have a terrific double feature for you on the latest episode of The Discourse.
This week, I’m joined by Robert Daniels (812FilmReviews.com, MediaVersity) to discuss two topical, provocative films, albeit vastly different from one another. We start with “Queen & Slim,” the bold feature directorial debut of Melina Matsoukas about two people (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) who, after a horrible Tinder date, end up on the run after a fatal run-in with a bigoted police officer. The discussion surrounding the film has been a fascinating one and has influenced some outstanding writing, both positive and negative. We both land positively on the film, but we also dive into those negative responses and find understanding in why this film – one that takes big swings that don’t always connect – would not work for everyone.
We then pivot over to “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson’s highly-entertaining whodunnit that fared extremely well over Thanksgiving ($41 million for the five-day weekend). It’s easy to see why. More than just a well-constructed mystery, the film has sharp criticisms on MAGA, immigration policies, and white privilege, among others. It’s a film that’s almost as fun to discuss as it is to which. Finally, we find a little bit of time to briefly highlight “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and how director Marielle Heller should be at the forefront of the Best Director Oscar conversation for her unique Fred Rogers film.
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