Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah' (Focus Features)

Indie Weekend: ‘Pariah,’ ‘House of Pleasures,’ ‘The Devil Inside’

Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah' (Focus Features)
Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah' (Focus Features)

My pick of the week:

  • ‘Pariah.’ A coming-of-age story that manages to feel fresh and authentic. The extraordinary Adepero Oduye inhabits the lead role of a high school girl named Alike. She lives with her family in a comfortable home in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, but she could be anyone struggling with identity issues. Alike sneaks out to a gay club at night before changing her outfit to sneak back home; at school she is yet another personality. Her parents are having marital difficulties, and each exerts different pressure upon her. Slowly she comes to an understanding of what she needs to do to become her own person. Dee Rees wrote and directed, with precision and compassion. (Landmark Magnolia.) My interview with Rees at Twitch. Recommended.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, January 6, 2012 (listed in order of preference):

  • ‘House of Pleasures.’ A French-language film about women trapped by circumstances at a brothel in early 20th Century Paris. (Texas Theatre.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Beneath the Darkness.’ Dennis Quaid stars as a respected mortician in Smithville, Texas who murders a teenager. When the kid’s friends report it to the police, no one believes them, and it’s up to them to prove that it wasn’t an accident. (Cinemark 17.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Devil Inside.’ A faux-documentary about possible demon possession and multiple exorcisms. Clumsily made — intentionally so — and dreadfully boring. (Wide.) My review at TwitchNot recommended.