Stellar Performances Carry ‘Night Comes On’ (Sundance Review)
Our society continually fails Black women. As a result, we’re forced to choke back our emotions and vulnerabilities, often turning to anger to cope. Ironically we’re then met with disdain or annoyance. Hurt, pain, and anger can be all-consuming, no one is disputing that. It can fester, stifling the people we are meant to become because we choose to hold on to past injustices. And yet, anger and rage are tricky, they can also be used as fuel. Jordana Spiro's feature film debut, Night Comes On follows Angel LaMere, played by rising star Dominique Fishback. Angel is released from a juvenile detention center just outside of Philadelphia on her eighteenth birthday and soon embarks on a singular mission of revenge against her father for the murder of her mother. Determined to see her journey through, Angel does not expect to have her precocious and hilarious 10-year-old sister, Abby (newcomer Tatum Hall) in tow.
From the very moment she steps beyond the padlock gates, Angel begins to set her plan in motion. She sets off to purchase a gun, discover her father’s whereabouts, and see her sister one final time. However, as Angel soon discovers, sheer will and self-determination won’t get you very far when you only have a busted cellphone and a couple of bucks in your purse.
Spiro and her co-writer Angelica Nwandu‘s airy script leaves a ton of room for quiet spaces and contemplation. Fishback is wonderful as usual. She presents a harden young woman, emotionally armored and determined not to connect with anyone or anything until she’s gotten vengeance for the life that was taken from her. What Angel doesn’t count on is the power of sisterhood.
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