"I know Kerry Washington has been holding it down, but she can't do it all by herself."
—Marcus Pinnland cares about actresses
“At the very end of Dee Rees’ Pariah, a coming of age tale about a New York teen coming to grips with being a lesbian, I couldn’t help but worry that newcomer Adepero Oduye (who gave an AMAZING performance in her first starring role) might turn in to another Shareeka Epps - another young black actress who gave an equally commanding & original performance in Half Nelson, but has yet to be seen in much since (which was over 5 years ago). Sure, there may be factors as to why we haven’t seen her in many other films (maybe she just didn’t want to act that much or maybe she wanted to focus on school give her age). But I tend to lean towards whats probably the real reason - the American movie industry is pretty messed. Generally speaking, American filmmakers don’t seem to know how to portray black female characters that don’t look a certain way. I mean really, stop and ask yourself why Nona Gaye (Ali), Naomie Harris (Miami Vice), China Shavers (Beginners) and even Nia Long (who’s clearly found the fountain of youth) don’t turn up in more films in starring roles.Look at European actresses who have made the transition in to mainstream/American studio films like Juliette Binoche, Marian Cotillard and Audrey Tatou. How come beautiful black actresses based out of France like Aissa Maiga (Bamako, Russian Dolls) or Mati Diop (35 Shots Of Rum) haven’t made the same transisiton? Surely acting ability or beauty isn’t the question. I know Kerry Washington has been holding it down, but she can’t do it all by herself. What makes Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz or Emma Stone more attractive or more appealing than the aforementioned black actresses? I mean, I know we all know the real reason, but I’m just sayin’…”
Contributed by blogger/film critic Marcus Pinnland