The Sundance Film Festival is well underway in the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah, filled with an enormous amount of fun, fierce, and fascinating films that always make me fall in love with filmmaking all over again. "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" was one of those films that truly blew me away. Future tip: bring tissues.
The movie was filmed in New York City and focused on the real life hardships of living in the city's housing projects. I always admire a story that shows the complexity of real life issues, and director George Tillman Jr. did an incredible job captivating the emotions and truth to what one family in Brooklyn faced. Many things stood out in the film, but three parts really grabbed my attention.
+ Jennifer Hudson's Transformation
Jennifer Hudson steps out of the singing role and embraces a much darker character in this film. We all know the girl can act, but this film just brought it to a whole new level. JHud revealed, "It's refreshing to be able to do a role that does not include singing at all, but solely about the character."
Jennifer plays the role of Gloria, who is a mother to a young boy by the name of Mister. As the film begins we learn quite quickly she is a struggling single mother with a heroin addiction. The gorgeous actress revealed in the Q&A, "I have never had a drink before, never been drunk, I have been sober my entire life." So, to get into character she explained she had to meet with heroin addicts to help get more into character. Hmm, can you say possible Oscar winning performance? I guess we will have to wait and see!
+ New Breakout Star
Gloria's son Mister was played by the brilliant young actor by the name of Skylan Brooks. Seriously, Skylan has quite the bright future. His performance was INSANELY good! For a young actor to tap into these deep emotions that he portrayed through his character was extraordinary.
After Gloria is arrested for prostitution and drug use, Mister is forced to survive on his own. Luckily, he is not alone through this journey -- Pete, a 9-year-old neighborhood kid of Korean descent who Mister babysits, becomes his partner in crime throughout the movie. The chemistry between the two left the audience laughing, adding a bit of humor to what is otherwise a serious story line.
+ Executive Produced by Alicia Keys
After the screening of the film, the audience roared in applause as the director announced that Alicia Keys was actually in the room. The multi-talented singer executive produced and composed music for the film. I always love seeing artists challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone by taking on other projects. Alicia was a complete success in that department! Her passion for the film exuded as she spoke to the captivated audience, and not to mention she looked absolutely stunning (as always)!
I don't want to give the ending away... so, make sure and keep your eyes peeled for this film. No doubt it will be hitting theaters close to you. Such an inspiring film that has still left me in awe (two days later)!