Miss Juneteenth review
While we haven't agreed the theme for March, you can rest assure we'll continue to mix it up as per. Until then, however - to the crowning of Miss Juneteenth, 2019.
"I just want something for myself."
Miss Juneteenth (2020)
A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.
Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) is the single mother of soon-to-be fifteen year old Kai (Alexis Chikaeze). The pair live in Fort Worth, Texas where Turq holds down several jobs to make ends meet. She's the former winner of the local Miss Juneteenth pageant, which comes with a full scholarship to a historically Black college. This year, Turq has entered Kai into the competition, despite her daughter's very obvious lack of interest.
Turquoise is determined Kai will have the opportunity she herself almost had, before she fell pregnant and her dreams were somewhat derailed. While she doesn't resent her daughter, she is working overtime to ensure she takes home the crown. While the pair get by - no thanks to Kai's well-meaning but irresponsible father, Ronnie (Kendrick Sampson) - Turq wants her child to go on to reach the same heady heights of success as other former winners of Miss J.
And when I say Turq is forever being reminded of what could of been... her mother always has something to say (despite being far from perfect herself), while the locals are on hand to make her feel less than while simultaneously singing the praises of the other winners, who've gone on to be career women and politician's wives.
While Turq's main focus is the pageant - and raising enough money to get Kai the best dress - her daughter has her eye on joining a dance troupe and, of course, a boy - which strikes fear into her mother's heart. When she suggests bringing a dance number to the talent portion of her pageant turn, T refuses, telling Kai she'll win with the Maya Angelou poem Phenomenal Woman (just like she did).
Meanwhile, Turquoise is still in love with childhood sweetheart Ronnie, despite their issues - while the owner of the funeral home she works at openly offers her the world if she'll just pick him instead. Things are tough all round for our girl but she's doing the damn thing, singlehandedly. When her boss at her second job gives her a piece of essential life advice, a seed of hope is planted.
Could Turquoise defy the haters with her own success, even if it looks very different to theirs? And - will Kai see her role in the pageant through to the end - or will she bolt? You know what to do.
– Genres: Drama
– IMDb user rating: 6.5
– My score: 4/5
– Runtime: 99 mins