SUNDANCE REVIEW: Lesbian Teen Drama ‘Pariah’ Offers Fresh Take on Coming-Out Genre
Sundance Film Festival, U.S. Dramatic Competition
PARK CITY — A coming-out/coming-of-age story set in a world few moviegoers will have seen, Pariah offers themes and conflicts that are stereotypically Sundance-approved, but does so with a crisp restraint that avoids preciousness. Squarely in this festival's wheelhouse, the movie (screened here on opening night) should get a strong word-of-mouth push and face good prospects beyond the fest circuit.
The debut feature from Dee Rees (whose short-film take on this story won fest awards a couple of years ago), Pariah centers on Alike, a lesbian teen who leaves plenty of hints but balks at explicitly telling her church-going parents she likes girls.