What the team enjoyed in January x
The Color Purple (Warner Bros)
I went to see a screening of The Color Purple last week and I actually enjoyed the film. I’m not a fan of musicals, I find the transition from dialogue to singing quite grating, so I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed this one as much as I did.
The film is casted perfectly, shot beautifully and the music is incredible. I loved that they didn't veer from the original book and so delicately explored the romantic relationship between Cecile and Shug (the first film adaptation completely excluded their relationship).
And it wasn't as sad as I expected it to be(!). The story of sisterhood and family really uplifts the mood.
Would definitely recommend! - Akachi
American Fiction (Amazon MGM)
Based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett, American Fiction takes a look into the life of Monk and expertly tackles what it means to pander to a perceived idea of ‘blackness’ for a cheque.
Jeffery Wright stars alongside Issa Rae, as rival authors (unbeknownst to Issa’s character Sinatra Golden). Tracee Ellis Ross and Sterling K Brown play Wright’s slightly dysfunctional, but well meaning siblings and powerhouse Leslie Uggams, plays their matriarch struggling with early on-set dementia.
Well paced and filled with moments which break the third wall insightfully, Cord Jefferson has brought Everett’s novel into the 21st century in a way that feels timely for a post Floyd-era.
Sterling K Brown is a standout in his role as the ‘black sheep’ of the family. - Sabrina
Mr and Mrs Smith (Prime Video)
If you’re looking for the 2005 reboot, keeping scrolling.
Going into this with an open mind will definitely serve fans well, as Maya Erskine and Donald Glover play married spies with a twist. With great tension and pacing Maya and Donald dominate every scene they’re in, along with a bevvy of famous faces (Michaela Coel!).
Jane and John spent the series faking a marriage as their legend (a spy's claimed background or biography) but there’s so much more happening that the audience gets to unpack. There’s a real millennial feel to John and Jane’s musings, they’re fake married but what does security look like.
Definitely a weekend watch. - Sabrina
Champion (BBC iPlayer/ Netflix)
Champion is a Black British drama set in South London following musician Bosco Champion, played by Top Boy star, Malcolm Kamulete, and his sister Vita (Déja J. Bowens) who steps out of her brother's shadow, to become her own performer - creating the sibling rivalry that tears apart the family. The series touches on the issues of male mental health in the black community and difficulties black artists face.
The original soundtrack written by the likes of grime legend Ghetts and Ray BLK, blends elements of London's black music scene, from drill to reggae and R&B.
If you have watched Empire, then you’ll love this! - Nnenna