Academy Award winning actress/comedienne Mo’Nique attended a screening of her upcoming film ‘Blackbird’ in Atlanta last night (April 7, 2015).
The event, held at the Midtown Art Cinema was hosted by RLJ Entertainment and Urban Movie Channel and several of Atlanta’s VIP, press & influencers were invited to preview the highly anticipated feature film, which was followed by a Q&A session with executive producers Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks, as well as cast members D. Woods, Torrey Laamar and Nikki Jane.
Ramona Debreaux (V103 radio personality) moderated the discussion about the film, which was directed by Patrik-Ian Polk and stars Isaiah Washington, Julian Walker and Mo’Nique, in her first role since winning the coveted Oscar.
Attendees included comedian Rodney Perry (Bounce TV), WNBA Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, Dr. Heavenly Kimes (Bravo’s “Married to Medicine”), Gary Hayes (DISH Nation/“Rickey Smiley Morning Show”), Meelah Williams (singer, TV One’s “R&B Divas Atlanta”), Bobby V. and more.
I attended the event as well and since I promised that I would tell the truth about what I thought about the flick, I’m going to say this as politically correct as possible… *sigh* if this is supposed to be Mo’Nique’s comeback film, she’s lost already.
Photos from the Atlanta ‘Blackbird’ screening + my mini review below…
Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks pose with host Ramona Debreaux
Actor Torrey Laamar
Rodney Perry poses between ‘Blackbird’ cast members Nikki Jane and D. Woods
Meelah Williams strikes a pose
Dr. Heavenly and her #TeamDaddy attire…
Despite all of the naysayers and the drama surrounding Mo’Nique being blackballed after her Oscar win, I was rooting for her return, but if THIS is the film that she’s waiting all this time for, she should have kept waiting.
[Sidebar: I was asked to review the film and I promised to be honest…. *sigh*]
‘Blackbird’ is billed as a ‘coming of age’ story about a young singer struggling with his sexuality in a small Southern Baptist community.
When I sat for the screening, I expected to see Mo’Nique in a role that would totally blow me away… I mean, she’s waited years for the perfect part right? Well it didn’t take long for me to discover that Mo’Nique’s part in this film is simply to get it as much publicity as possible by her presence. This can’t possible be her ‘comeback’ role. I refuse to believe that.
Mo’Nique plays a small supporting role as Claire Rousseau, the mother of the main character in the film. Her thick Baltimore accent doesn’t actually fit the Mississippi character but who cares… it’s Mo’Nique finally on screen!
Claire Rousseau is emotionally unstable throughout the film because her daughter is missing but nevermind that bit of crucial information, the film isn’t about a missing person, it’s about Randy Rousseau and his homosexual thoughts.
The best part of the film was Isaiah Washington, who played the confused boy’s father Lance Rousseau. Washington’s acting was great and he seemed sincere when he told his son he’d love him regardless.
Yeah… we get it, the youngster in the film was gay and didn’t want to be gay, but there was too much going on in the story for us to even begin to care about his quandary.
I’m not going to stomp on Mo’Nique’s ‘comeback’ film, but it just wasn’t entertaining for me. Then again… neither was Precious, but at least with that one, the horrible story kept you watching.
Unfortunately, ‘Blackbird’ felt like a bad stage play. I left after the first hour. I’m sure Gay rights activists will applaud the film because of it’s focus on the ‘Gay struggle’ blah blah blah, but it just didn’t resonate with me.
The director of the film, Patrick Ian-Clarke, is known for his work on Noah’s Ark, which read is kind of a gay version of ‘Sex and the City.’ The Noah’s Ark series was great and fully entertaining, but ‘Blackbird’ lacked something. It just didn’t pull me in. The film is 99 minutes long but 1 hour was enough for me.
I was hoping Mo’Nique would be able to thumb her nose at Lee Daniels with her rise to superstardom but I don’t think that’s going to happen with this role… *sigh*
BLACKBIRD’ opens in select theaters April 24, 2015.
Will you be heading out to check out Mo’Nique’s return to the big screen?
Photos: Chris Mitchell/CME3000