Fresh from Sundance, this award-winning independent film explores the coming-of-age of a teenage girl, the daughter of a Brooklyn city police- man and a prim, ambitious mother. She is marginalized by her class- mates, alienated from her parents and ignored by former friends. She has become...a "Pariah."

She is evaluating her writing abilities, her scholastic potential and her sexual orientation against a background of a preoccupied father who thinks she is in a tomboy phase that "soon will pass," and a mother who coolly tells her "I'll pray for you," picks up her Bible and walks away, when the girl seeks validation, love or even a little understanding.

Brilliantly written and directed by Dee Rees in her first full-length feature film, we see:
  • Adepero Oduye as Alike, our protagonist, smart, shy and creative. We have a lot of hope for this character by the end of the film.
  • Pernell Walker as Laura, our heroine's best friend and confidante.
  • Kim Wayans in the unsympathetic role of Audrey, the mother who thinks good dose of church should fix the problem.
  • Charles Parnell is Arthur, the father/cop, who has other things on his mind but will not tolerate any of the neighborhood toughs saying bad things about his daughter.
All of the performances in this R-rated film are first rate, so credit clearly goes to Director Rees, but the muddy dialogue, the too-busy editing and the jerky hand-held camera detract.

Watching the heartbreaks of first love reminded me why I am grateful that we only have to experience adolescence once in a lifetime. That was quite enough for me, how about you?
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This is a link to a preview:
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