This weekend’s feature at the Towngate Cinema is “Pariah,” the critically acclaimed film about a 17-year-old African-American woman’s (Adepero Oduye) attempt to cope with her lesbianism as she grows into adulthood in Brooklyn.
The show times for “Pariah” are Friday, April 13, at 7 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 4, 7, and 9 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. The film is rated R, and its running time is 86 minutes. The following critical commentary is compliments of Metacritic.com.
Washington Post Ann Hornaday This invigoratingly fresh, optimistic film – which features the breathtaking debuts of director Dee Rees and leading lady Adepero Oduye – plunges the audience into a world that’s both tough and tender, vivid and grim, drenched in poetry and music and pain and discovery.
San Francisco Chronicle Amy Biancolli The film benefits most of all from Rees’ careful screenplay, which dances that shifting line between fear and emergent hope. One of Alike’s poems says it best: “Even breaking is opening. And I am broken. I am open.”
NPR Ella Taylor The movie is anything but combative. Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity, a film whose lack of attitude sets it apart from much of the hard-bitten, thug-life storytelling that’s dominated African-American cinema for decades.
Austin Chronicle Marjorie Baumgarten Yes, it’s a coming-out film, but it breaks that mold by being thoroughly unpredictable. It’s a coming-of-age film, too, and by virtue of of telling the story of a young, black lesbian, Pariah also ventures into novel territory for a motion picture.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Calvin Wilson Like Elizabeth Olsen in “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Oduye brilliantly slips inside the skin of a sensitive young woman who’s having trouble finding her place in the world.
Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips The payoffs here begin and end with Oduye, and as we see this character confront her obstacles with bravery, grace and resolve, “Pariah” exhibits many of the same traits, for which filmgoers can be thankful.
Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert So what we’re seeing here is the emergence of a promising writer-director, an actor and a cinematographer who are all exciting, and have cared to make a film that seeks helpful truths.