Queen and Slim (2019)

In 2019, one of the things I did most was go to the movies. Going to the movies is something I’ve always loved but had gone less and less to over the past decade. This past year though, I started to go much more often. I even got myself a movie membership which allows you to see 3 movies a week for a pretty minimal monthly fee. The movies I saw ran the gamut of genre, from the big-budget superhero fare to horror to mystery and suspense, to indie, and drama.

I watched quite a few movies at home, too, though not as many as I’d have liked to. This year I’m hoping to watch more. A lot more. I’m creating and keeping a bullet journal this year, and part of it will include movies I want to see/movies I watch. I may add in a monthly theme, or goal, too.

I’ll be sharing some of the movies here, too, as Movie of the Day features, so keep an eye on some of the mini-reviews during this New Year/New Decade. As with music, I’d love to hear your movie recommendations. I love all eras of movies and am open to any genre. Comment or send your movie recommendations (at the theater, on DVD, or streaming) to lyriquediscordesubmissions@gmail.com

To start off 2020, today’s Movie of the Day is Queen and Slim, one of my favorites from 2019.

Queen and Slim (2019)
Written by Lena Waithe and James Frey
Directed by Melina Matsoukas
Movie of the Day

Going in, I knew how it would end. I’m not going to spoil anything, but it’s hard not to see where the two lovers on the run will end up. All that said, though, every moment of their ride, and their story, was worth it, regardless of the inevitable end.

First off, this movie is gorgeous to watch. The cinematography was breathtaking, moving, raw, and real. The music, too. And the directorial and acting choices – voiceovers over long shots, intentional silences, and then moments of movement and words – it all worked beautifully, to me.

Queen and Slim January 1 MOTD

The acting, too. Especially from Daniel Kaluuya (Slim) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen). Remarkable performances.

Queen and Slim trailer

My heart hurt watching it. It pounded in my chest, cheering them on at times, breaking for them at others. It was an emotional experience.

At times, I was reminded of Thelma and Louise. The drama, the suspense. The horror. The moments of levity, of passion, of love. I liked these two so much I wanted better for them.

I liked all the supporting characters they met up with along the way, too – especially Uncle Earl (played by Bokeem Woodbine) and Goddess (played by Indya Moore).

Queen and Slim Movie of the Day January 1

There are politics here, very relevant ones. There are conversations that should be had that this movie stirs up. There is a very real privilege that I felt watching it, even though I’ve been through some bad police treatment when I was a teenager – that said, I know it is not the same. Beyond all that though, there is a lot here that speaks to love and trust, what it means to connect, and to humanity in unexpected places. The people who help Queen and Slim along the way are often living on the fringe, or they are allies you wouldn’t think would be.

Some of the moments made my heart burst open, and made tears come as I hoped for something different to happen. Moments of romance and love – like the dance at the juke joint, and when they took turns reaching their bodies out the window, feeling free.

Queen and Slim, as characters (though not their names), have been described as modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They are innocents at their core, the victims of society, of wrong place/wrong time, and of still very racist world that we live in. They are running for freedom, not running to steal more, to take more, to get away with more. They are flawed heroes, yes, but they do not become heroes or outlaws, or anything in this story, with intent.

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Queen and Slim is a debut film from director Melina Matsoukas. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

I can’t wait to see the actors in this again, too. And, I can’t wait to give this one another watch when it’s released on DVD.

Have you seen Queen and Slim? If so, what did you think?

“Collide” by Tiana Major9, EARTHGANG