Friday, November 9, 2012
Women in Film: PARIAH
I am fascinated when a performer, known primarily for comedy, plays the other side of the coin with stimulating results. My top examples are Sally Field, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Jamie Foxx and Mo'Nique. All were known to millions of television viewers as sitcom stars. They won their Academy Awards for dramatic work. Last month, I saw a 2011 indie film called Pariah. It's the story of a social outcast -- a young African-American lesbian struggling to be herself in society, struggling to distinguish herself in school and struggling for total acceptance at home from her working class parents in Brooklyn. Wow. What a strong, gritty yet tender film. I wanted to see it because it was praised by Meryl Streep during a live interview on an entertainment news show telecast early this year the night she won her Best Actress Oscar for The Iron Lady. Streep said that, just as the field for Best Picture nominees was increased back to ten (the original number for Best Picture nominees until it was reduced to five in the 1940s), there could have been ten nominees for Best Actress of 2011. She mentioned Pariah.