Six Reasons Why ‘Zola,’ a Virtuoso Walk on the Wild Side, Is the Must-See Movie of the Summer (Column)

There are a lot ways to describe “Zola,” the scandalously intoxicating mad-dog erotic-underworld drama with a title that doesn’t tell you much about it.

It’s a true story so extravagant it feels like it must have been made up.

It’s a mini volcano of sex and violence and danger and deception.

It’s a close-to-the-bone portrait of women who work in the sex industry.

It’s a youthquake as real as “American Honey.” It’s a piece of pure filmmaking bravura.The movie first played at Sundance in 2020, and the reason it’s just coming out now is that it’s one of the rare independent films that was treated by its distributor — in this case, A24 — as a made-for-the-big-screen jewel, like “No Time to Die” or “West Side Story,” whose release would have to wait until we could start to see the post-pandemic theatrical landscape.


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