As The Inquisitr previously reported, Dear White People was a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival. And its director, Justin Simien, won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival and was listed by Variety as one of the “10 Directors to Watch.”
Dear White People takes place at a fictional Ivy League university and focuses on what it describes as “being a black face in a white place.” The lives of four black students are the main focus after controversy surrounds the university over an African-American themed Halloween party put on by white students. The film stars Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Tessa Thompson (Copper), and Dennis Haysbert (24).
With the film opening in theaters today, reviews have been surfacing online and many critics are praising it. At the time of this posting, Rotten Tomatoes has Dear White People listed at 97 percent with 32 reviews posted. More are expected to be posted as the day goes on.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote a short and to-the-point review of the film, saying that people need to see it as soon as possible.
“Dear White People marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Justin Simien, an African-American who laces his satire with delicious mirth and malice… What are you waiting for?”
A.O. Scott of The New York Times said that while Dear White People has its flaws, it’s still a daring film about the subject of racism.
“It’s a clever campus comedy that juggles a handful of hot potatoes — race, sex, privilege, power — with elegant agility and only an occasional fumble.”
Max Nicholson of IGN noted that while the film’s narrative is a little off, the movie excels at getting its message across.
“Justin Simien’s Dear White People is an honest, funny and stylish satire of race relations in the Obama age.”
Rawiya Kameir of The Daily Beast also noted that the film doesn’t hold back when taking on racism.
“Dear White People fits into national and global conversations about race and identity, tackling issues head-on rather than burying them under aphorisms and wishful thinking.”
The one critic who had a negative review of Dear White People was Aisha Harris from Slate. She said that Simien’s head is in the right place, but the film lacks impact.
“Unfortunately, Simien’s many smart, relevant thoughts on race are more often wrapped up in an impassioned, didactic bow that rarely feels fresh—or, more damagingly, funny.”
Dear White People is releasing to just 11 theaters this weekend, but analysts are predicting the film will do well in its limited release. According to Box Office Mojo, with the positive reviews and the approach to its subject matter, Dear White People could open with more than $100,000.
[Image via YouTube screencap]