Miss Juneteenth review – the stuff of dreams

A Texas single mother is determined her daughter will win the local pageant to gain a college scholarship in this beautifully observed debut featureEarlier this year, Philippa Lowthorpe’s socio-comedy Misbehaviour entertainingly addressed the intersection between sexism and racism through the bizarre real-life pageantry of the disrupted 1970 Miss World competition in London.

A very different pageant plays out in Fort Worth, Texas, in this impressive debut feature from writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples.

Following a mother’s attempts to pass her own interrupted ambitions on to her teenage daughter, Miss Juneteenth is a beautifully observed and quietly powerful drama that applies its coming-of-age tropes to children, parents and politics alike.Nicole Beharie, who played Rachel Robinson to Chadwick Boseman’s Jackie in 42, is Turquoise Jones, a former beauty queen (she keeps her crown in a box) juggling shifts at Wayman’s BBQ bar, and at the local funeral parlour.


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