By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood September 9, 2011 at 8:07AM
The thing that I've gotten from this festival so far is that this is a festival really about buying and selling. The cool thing for me is to look at all the great European films for sale and try and find a gem to see that might never make it to the US. I'm trying to find some cool under the radar films women directed films to see so I'm doing some detective work.
This is also a big star and press event. While everyone in the lost their shit today of Brad Pitt and George Clooney being in town with Moneyball and The Ides of March (the line to get into the press conference took over the Lightbox), I ignored the boys and finally got to see Pariah which had its world premiere way back in January at Sundance.
It was so worth the wait. (SPOILERS BELOW)
The movie is just so good. Well written, well acted, emotional, devastating and liberating. I gotta say that Dee Rees is the real deal. The film tells the story of 17 year old Alike who is struggling with how to make her family come to terms with her being a lesbian.
Ailke played with fierceness and vulnerability by Adepero Oduye knows she's gay but she lives two lives. One where she wears t-shirts with sparkles and earrings to please her mother, and one where she wears a baseball cap and baggy shirts. She's two different people but as she is growing up and becoming more comfortable with herself, she doesn't want to play the game anymore. She doesn't want to wear the pink sweater her mom bought because it's not her. But her mother keeps pushing and the thing is - it's effecting the whole family.
Kim Wayans plays her mom Audrey who cannot deal with her daughter being gay. When the final eruption occurs, it sets Alike off on her new journey and you know that she will not only be OK, but she will be great. She will have a life and be successful and will be openly gay. She'll have a relationship with her dad and her sister (there was a great scene between the two sisters who like most sisters fight all the time but love and protect each other intensely) but she might not have a relationship with her mom.
The last 15 minutes was amazing. I was totally wrecked and could barely get up. It's not that it is too intense, it's just very emotional. And don't get me started on the music. They did a great job with the soundtrack.
When I left the theatre, everyone was all lined waiting to get into the Cronenberg movie - A Dangerous Method. I know many people saw Pariah at Sundance, but still this movie is so special.
I've got two more movies today. Think of Me starring Lauren Ambrose and We Need to Talk About Kevin starring Tilda Swinton.