Lena Waithe’s (The Chi) and Melina Matsoukas’ (Beyoncé: Lemonade) first collaborative feature film, Queen & Slim, is a black love story taking a stance on sociopolitical issues in the United States. As leading roles Daniel Kaluuya (Slim) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen) bring dark black representation to the ever so light-skinned cast of films. Matsoukas’ color schemes and beautiful shots are supported by the collection of iconic black music from Fela Kuti, Ms. Lauren Hill and Solange.
Monica Gathuo Melina Matsoukas’ feature directorial debut not only reframes a Bonnie & Clyde-style outlaws-on-the-run story in thrillingly contemporary, culturally relevant terms, but it also finds a way to do so that combines bracing honesty about a hostile world with lyrical beauty about the relationships that make it endurable.
Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith are mesmerizing and urgently sexy as the eponymous pair, while a script by Lena Waithe (from a story by Waithe and A Million Little Pieces author James Frey) elegantly juxtaposes romantic fantasy, inescapable reality and the legacies – inherited and aspirational – that bond them together.
Todd Gilchrist, The Wrap