If there’s any justice, Queen Of Glory can be a head-turning directorial debut for author/director/star Nana Mensah. It’s half love-letter to her heritage as a Ghanaian-American lady, half rumination on grief and life, half drily humorous musing on Millennial angst, and each bit a typical New-York-indie sort of movie. It’s superbly shot on 35mm with an earthy palette and plenty of autumnal colors, brownstone stoops and suburban streets — however Mensah’s empathetic contact makes every little thing really feel lived-in.
With appreciable poise and presence, she performs Sarah, directing herself as a listless tutorial going nowhere. At work, she is sort of actually engaged on the treatment for most cancers; at house, she is pursuing an clearly doomed extramarital affair and mocked by a number of aunties questioning when she’ll lastly have infants and lose some weight. Mensah’s efficiency alone feels noteworthy: an train in measure and management, she completely deadpans her approach via moments of delicate disaster, a groundswell of emotion just under the floor.
What’s so spectacular right here is the care and a focus Mensah affords all her characters.
When Sarah’s mom dies all of the sudden, Sarah’s life must be recalibrated, having inherited a Christian bookshop she neither desires nor understands. As an atheist scientist, she’s able to promote up as quickly as potential, however life has different plans. What’s so spectacular right here is the care and a focus Mensah affords all her characters, from the closely face-tattooed ex-con co-worker who surpasses Sarah’s early prejudices, to the outdated girls who use the bookshop as a spot of group.
The movie delicately explores the immigrant expertise and questions of id — Sarah organises each a conventional Ghanaian funeral and a “white individuals’s funeral” — and there are some beautiful scenes with childhood household mates with Russian heritage, a similar-but-different expertise of the New York melting-pot. But it surely wears these themes evenly, prioritising its characters over any sort of ‘message’. That is extra a movie to be felt than analysed. By the emotional finish, it’s felt very deeply certainly.