Movie Review: Miss Juneteenth (2020)

Title: Miss Juneteenth
Release Date: June 19, 2020
Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples
Production Company: Sailor Bear | Ley Line Entertainment

By a wonderful coincidence, Miss Juneteenth came up on my watchlist just in time for me to post my review on Juneteenth.  The movie concerns Turquoise Jone (Nicole Beharie, previously in 42), a woman who won the Miss Juneteenth scholarship pageant in Fort Worth, Texas when she was 15, but now struggling to make ends meet as single mom and a waitress at a bar.  She registers her own daughter Kay (Alexis Chikaeze) for the Miss Juneteenth pageant, even though Kai is not enthusiastic and would rather join the dance team.  Turquoise maintains a tenuous relationship with Kai’s father Ronnie (Kendrick Sampson), although he’s irresponsible about supporting his daughter.

The plot is predictable in that it’s a story of a parent trying to live out their own dreams through their child.  But it’s a predictable story because it’s so true to life, and the film is filled with both heartache and sweetness.  Beharie is terrific in the lead role, and Chikaeze is promising young actor who I think can have a great career in film if she wants it.

Rating: ***

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