The Photograph (2020)

The Photograph
Director: Stella Meghie
Writer: Stella Meghie
Cast: Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield, Chanté Adams, Y’lan Noel, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris, Rob Morgan, Chelsea Peretti, Courtney B. Vance
Seen on: 16.9.2020

Plot:
Michael (LaKeith Stanfield) is a journalist who has been working on a story for a while. When he interviews Isaac (Rob Morgan), a photograph catches his eye in Isaac’s home. Taken by a young photographer, Christine Eames (Chanté Adams) who was obviously very important to Isaac in the past (Y’lan Noel), Michael becomes interested in Christine’s life. But Christine passed away, so instead, Michael finds her daughter Mae (Issa Rae) who works as a curator in a museum. As they both rediscover her mother’s work and her past, the two are drawn to each other more and more.

I expected The Photograph to be a sappy love story and it is certainly that but it didn’t touch me quite as much as it should have.

The film poster showing Mae (Isaa Rae) and Michael (LaKeith Stanfield) pressing their foreheads together. The image is black and white.
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Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, K Callan, Noah Segan
Seen on: 8.1.2020

Plot:
Famous author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) has died, leaving behind an eccentric family, a lot of money and a police investigation into his death. Just before it is officially declared a suicide, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) joins the investigation to make sure that everything is as everybody thinks it is. As he interviews the entire family, including Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), there is no telling what he will uncover. But it’s probably nothing good.

Knives Out was an amazingly entertaining film that managed to breathe some new life into a genre that has been well-established for many, many years (and it’s not even a genre that I personally love a lot). I had the best of times.

The film poster showing all of the main characters standing in a group.
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Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Sorry to Bother You
Director: Boots Riley
Writer: Boots Riley
Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Kate Berlant, Michael X. Sommers, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Robert Longstreet, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Lily James, Forest Whitaker, Rosario Dawson, W. Kamau Bell
Seen on: 4.8.2019

Plot:
Cassius (LaKeith Stanfield) lives with his girlfriend, the artist Detroit (Tessa Thompson), in his uncle Sergio’s (Terry Crews) garage. Money is tight and that doesn’t really change when Cassius starts a new job as a telemarketer. But success is just around the corner when Cassius discovers his white voice and uses it in his sales. At the same time though his co-worker Squeeze (Steve Yeun) is starting to raise concerns about the products they are selling.

Sorry to Bother You is a wild film, in the best sense: it takes you into entirely different directions and it has so much fun with exploring and experimenting, that it doesn’t matter in the slightest when things get a little messy. I was thoroughly charmed by pretty much everything about it.

The film poster showing LaKeith Stanfield with a bandaged head.
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The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

The Incredible Jessica James
Director: Jim Strouse
Writer: Jim Strouse
Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stanfield, Noël Wells, Taliyah Whitaker,
Sarah Jones
Seen on: 6.1.2018
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Plot:
Jessica (Jessica Williams) is a playwright with a whole lot of rejection letters to prove it. She makes her living as a theater teacher for children. And she just broke up with her boyfriend Damon (Lakeith Stanfield), a break-up that still gnaws at her although she was the one who instigated it. When she starts dating again, she meets Boone (Chris O’Dowd). They get along, but Boone has just been divorced and is equally hung up on his past relationship as Jessica is on hers. Nevertheless, there is something between them that both want to follow up on.

The Incredible Jessica James isn’t a re-invention of anything, but it is a super-sweet, super-nice film with great character and performances that are simply enjoyable. It’s absolutely lovely.

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Get Out (2017)

Get Out
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel KaluuyaAllison WilliamsCatherine KeenerBradley WhitfordCaleb Landry JonesMarcus HendersonBetty GabrielLakeith StanfieldStephen RootLilRel Howery
Seen on: 9.5.2017

Plot:
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) have been dating for a while and now it’s time for Chris to meet Rose’s parents. The upcoming encounter fills Chris with dread, not only because it’s always a little terrifying to meet your in-laws, but also because Chris is black, Rose and her family are white and Rose never had a black boyfriend before. Chris steels himself for casual racism, but when he and Rose get there, something more than that seems off.

I had been looking forward to Get Out for quite a while and my expectations were really very high. When a film comes with that many accolades, it’s rare that it actually manages to live up to them. But I’m very happy to say that Get Out definitely does.

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Miles Ahead (2015)

Miles Ahead
Director: Don Cheadle
Writer: Steven Baigelman, Don Cheadle
Cast: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lakeith Stanfield, Brian Wolfman Black Bowman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Christina Marie Karis
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 22.10.2016

Plot:
Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) hasn’t released new music in a long time. In fact, he was barely seen in public. That’s why journalist Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) is dead set on profiling him to find out what’s going on and to give his own career a boost. He manages to find his way into Davis’ home and gets quickly involved in Davis’ chaotic, drug-fueled life and his desperate search for the master tapes containing his new music that were stolen from him.

Miles Ahead takes a very liberal approach to Miles Davis’ life, landing somewhere between crime story and biopic and working as neither. I hated almost every second of it.

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