An immigrant child in a new school battling hormones and her mother's Senegalese traditions tries so hard to fit in she breaks.
Cuties / Mignonnes is everything but cute. It's rough, hard, brutal, tragic and very real. Director Maïmouna Doucouré paints the gut wrenching portrait of the young lady and the clique she's dying to enter with sensitivity, soul and a touch of magical realism that mark the reader like a dark tattoo.
Amy is a complex character (terrifically written by Doucouré and played to a T by Fathia Youssouf) because in the same instant she elicits our sympathy, our anger and our disgust. She makes all the wrong decisions for all the right reasons and because for an 11-year-old on the threshold of puberty, there is only right now and desires that blind them from seeing any consequences of their actions.
As for the ridiculous controversy launched by those who haven't seen the film and fueled by blind ignorance: I find it interesting that people will criticize a female woman of color for directing a film based on her personal experiences, whereas when Woody Allen makes a film about young women throwing themselves at older men, he's hailed as a genius.
Shame on those who shame someone for trying to tell their story. Cinema is meant to be a stage for sharing, not an arena for executing artists we judge despite knowing nothing about them or their art.
Preliminary review, my final review for Season 1 is in another comment (I didn't want to just edit over this, especially with the likes on it). Very light spoilers for the first few episodes ahead.
I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and give a genuine review of the series as far as I've watched so far (I'll review it properly when I'm done with the season).
So, let's start with the Baphomet in the room (haha), and note that there is some very overt feminism in this series. As I hear, it tapers off as the series goes on, and I look forward to that, because while it is absolutely not pervasive to every corner of the series, it's a cringey part of the early episodes. I wholly support progressive movements, I am happy to see a non-binary character on the show, and Sabrina's attempts to defend said character. I wholly support Sabrina being a sassy, empowered female character who 'sticks it to the man'.
That said, constantly pointing to a plot element and going: 'This is women standing up to the patriarchy!' is unnecessary. As I said before, it's cringey. Let the work speak for itself.
That said, the series, while not a masterpiece, is interesting so far. I appreciate its willingness to broach Satanism (with all its LaVeyan trappings) and all the horror, gore, and sexuality that comes with it. When it just moves forward with the plot, and doesn't spend its time pointing out its progressiveness, it's a solid supernatural drama.
I do find Roz to be tedious. I think Harvey and Sabrina's relationship is unearned (they are way too lovey for 16 year olds with so many secrets between them, and Sabrina, so far, has been rather self-centered, while Harvey plays the devoted and doting boyfriend; feels very much like the criticisms feminists often have about the roles women play in their relationships with men in other stories). I hope that this gets approached with some maturity, instead of devolving into a mess of drama, but sadly, I feel it could easily go either way.
Ambrose is a great addition to the cast, fulfilling the morally ambiguous role that Salem played in the original (but also being properly morally ambiguous, in keeping with the dramatic tone, rather than comically so).
I'll make a proper review when I've finished with the season, but I just felt like this comment section could use a genuine review rather than the 'feminism is ruining everything!' reviews that it has mostly seen so far.