Pariah

Directed by Dee Rees (Alliance)

A quiet triumph of 2011's festival circuit---landing Independent Spirit, Gotham, Sundance and GLAAD Media awards---Dee Rees' Pariah is part coming-out story, part family portrait. Alike (Adepero Oduye, 30 passing for 18) is leading a double life---straight at home, gay everywhere else, including school and New York's lesbian clubs. In a bit of a switch, it's her father Arthur (Charles Parnell) who's on her side as her mother Audrey (Kim Wayans) hammers her about being a proper girl. Both parents know what the deal is, but are hoping it will rectify itself if they just let it lie---so Arthur cheats and Audrey cooks and screams. And Alike's just trying to do her. Pariah is a fine debut---it's all been done, but rarely with performances this raw and real.

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