It’s August 22, and the pandemic is still going strong. I guess the summer sun rays didn’t make it go away as promised! So what’s new today? Queen & Slim is available to stream on HBO today, August 22 for $19.99; yep, even with an HBO subscription, you’ll have to pay to watch it. It’s worth it.
Queen & Slim starring in the principal roles Daniel Kaluuya as Slim (Get Out), and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as Queen is a modern-day Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bonnie, and Clyde. A classic tale of bad guys turned folk heroes starring an almost all-black cast. The film directed by Melina Matsoukas couldn’t have come in at a better time. Queen & Slim is Matsoukas feature-length directorial debut, and it’s been well received by the critics and viewers alike. Her other credits include director and producer, known for Insecure (2016) and Beyoncé: Formation (2016).
The plot summary is pretty simple. Young black man meets a young woman, ask the girl out on a date and while out on their innocent date, gets pulled over by a white officer for a minor traffic violation. From that point on, the evening takes a wrong turn when the police officer interprets Queen’s gesture to reach for her phone as a threat, and he shoots her. I am not going to reveal what happens next, but let’s say that the young couple on-the-run becomes a symbol of the resistance when footage of the shooting goes viral and fuels an opposition movement of defiance. It is the work of great artists when their work not only reflects society’s reality but anticipates and interprets it, for us to reflect on it and possibly make sense of the mess. Queen & Slim is such work.
(from left)Daniel Kaluuya as Slim and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as Queen.
Other noteworthy performances are given by Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson, and Indya Moore.