Director: Rebecca Hall
Year Released: 2021
Back in Harlem in the 1920's, Reenie (Tessa Thompson) runs into old "pal" Clare (Ruth Negga, doing her best Blanche DuBois), who is "passing" as white and married to John Bellew (Alexander Skarsgård) - who, by the way, calls her a racial slur to her face (to show how complex his character is) - but when Clare starts spending more and more time with the Black community, her hubby (predicably) gets upset. For Hall this no doubt came from a personal place (her mother, Maria Ewing, is African-American), but she's trying entirely too hard to be "art house," with the 4:3 framing and the black-and-white cinematography, the affected acting, the jangling piano notes and so on ... and not one single scene can go by without the characters discussing race in some way or another, as if they're all stuck in some mental loop and can't think about anything else. The subject itself - whether or not it's ethically proper to try to mix in with another race that isn't your own - is worth debating, but I would hope we're moving past that culturally.