REVIEW: White Girl (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - FilmRise & Netflix
Theatrical Release Poster – FilmRise & Netflix

The following is a quick review of White Girl – Directed by Elizabeth Wood.

Elizabeth Wood’s feature film debut follows Leah (played by Morgan Saylor) – the titular white girl – who has just moved into an apartment in Queens and is an intern at a young, hip magazine. Leah soon starts dating Blue (played by Brian Marc) who she met when she was looking for drugs, and, as it turns out, she’s about to become a bad influence on him.

White Girl reminded me a lot of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, only this is a much more raw story, which deals with racial safety nets and the impressionable and ignorant mind of a young university student. Spring Breakers didn’t really leave a big impression on me, and White Girl didn’t really either.

That said, I do think there are some good things about this movie. I think that it is a cautionary tale that feels real in a good way, and I think we’re dealing with a talented filmmaker. I was also really impressed with the leading actress. Morgan Saylor goes all in with White Girl, and I don’t think many actresses would have the courage to go to the lengths that she has to go to in this film.

While you don’t agree with the ignorant and wide-eyed protagonist, you almost always feel for her. It’s also not an easy film to watch for multiple reasons. All in all, while White Girl didn’t work for me as well as I thought it might’ve, I do think it’s a convincing debut for Wood, which contains a fearless performance from Saylor.

6.5 out of 10

– Jeffret Rex

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