{Movie Review} MoNique attended ‘BlackBird’ Screening in Atlanta Thursday 23 April, 2015

I love indie movies. Don’t get me wrong, a blockbuster and mainstream hit will always be there and catch my eye, but it’s something about an independent film that makes my heart flutter. Comedian Mo’Nique stars and executive produced upcoming film BlackBird and had a prescreening in Atlanta a few weeks ago. Mo’Nique executive produced this film with her husband Sidney Hicks based on the book about a coming of age tale of a teen boy searching for himself through sexuality and religion. This film could be considered very controversial, as it does deal with homosexuality and religious aspects of wrong and right in a small country town. I was excited to see Mo’Nique actually attend the pre-screening here in Atlanta, and cool tidbit – she sat right behind me!

Mo'Nique - Sidney 2

D. Woods signs poster

Another familar face, D.Wood former member of the popular group Danity Cane, was a main character in her first breakout movie and plan to do more films and solo music in the upcoming future. Her role in the film was amazing! I am also loving the blue hair!




Seventeen-year-old Randy tries very hard to be a good person. Since his father left, Randy takes care of his emotionally disturbed mother, and he’s the kind of friend all of his classmates can depend on. As strong as he seems on the outside, Randy is hiding a secret inner struggle and denial of his true self. It’s not until he opens himself up to love that he discovers that becoming a man means accepting who you really are.

My Opinion: I am not going to lie, when it first opened up, my mouth dropped. I wont ruin it but it pretty much was a jaw dropper and I wasn’t expecting to see two young men kiss so intimately so soon. Even if it was only a dream, my reaction was floored and I think the directors got the shock value they were looking for in the beginning. Randy, the star of this film, is actually a nice wholesome boy, very sweet and even innocent – but he is just trying to find himself.  He goes to church, has a religious mother and even goes to a Christian academy but that doesn’t stop his feeling and dreams for the opposite sex. He has two best friends, one male and one female and they are very close while Randy protest he is very straight, his friends think otherwise. blackbird-002

Randy’s mother, played by Mo’Nique, sets a strong tone in this film as a strict religious mother but also grieving as she is in a state of constant turmoil to find her missing daughter who has been gone for several years. Randy father, played by Isiah Washington, was also ironically in this film as he had his own real life controversy with homesexuality statement and I honestly feel like this was his redemption movie…his fatherly role was accepting of the gay culture even moreso than the mom. Randy has a crush on a classmate, who is straight and even friends with while they are the co-stars of the upcoming school playing Romeo and Julian (remix of Romeo and Juliette). I really love the film because it follows Randy on such a huge journey in such a simple town, with hints of the Romeo and Juliette theme and his strong dream premonitions.

At first I thought I was going to be uncomfortable watching the film because of the “theme” but it was much more than how the film starts. It makes you empathize for Randy’s character and just look at everything from a human perspective. The ending was amazing, shocking and a great twist that I did not see coming. This movie really was an eye-opener, especially in America where things are changing and we are becoming more accepting of others sexual orientation – this gives you a real view and understanding of alternative sexuality struggles without the perversion most people associate the lifestyle with. Once again, another indie film that put things in perspective and smile.

Cast QandA

After the Atlanta pre-screening, Mo’Nique, her husband Sidney Hick and the rest of the cast had a Q&A. They talked about BlackBird the film, answered the audience question and really spent some great one-on-one time with the people to get a good feel of the movie. What is wonderful about this film and cast, although we know Mo’Nique and Isiah Washington (didnt attend screening) is that everyone was an up and coming actor. They are breakout stars and did an amazing job for their first film!  Mo'Nique during Q&A 2 The cutest thing about the film Q&A is that Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney have been best friends since the age of 14 and have came together for this project. Although Mo’Nique, Academy award winner from the movie Precious, and star of many movies and sitcoms over the year have always wanted to work with her husband in the industry. Their collaboration on this project is a testimony of their own journey as Sidney once told Mo’Nique they would be rich and famous one day together but sweetly told her as a teen “You first”…now they properous together!


Follow the conversation online at @BlkBirdtheFilm using hashtag #WeAreBlackbird

BLACKBIRD’ opens in select theaters on April 24. Visit www.blackbirdthemovie.com for theater locations.


About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

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  • Thanks for sharing your experience and this preview. It sounds like it’s going to be a great movie.

  • Dawn says:

    Blackbird sounds like a great flick! I’ve always like Monique, and you really sold me on it. Thanks!

  • Liz Mays says:

    This is going to be such a powerful movie. Mo’nique had a great performance in “Precious.” I’m looking forward to seeing her play the part of this troubled mother.

  • Catherine S says:

    This sounds like a great movie. Thank you for the great review. It looks like you had a great time.

  • Jeanine says:

    This sounds like it will be a great one! Always enjoyed MoNique so I’ll be sure to check this out!

  • Marcie W. says:

    I love Monique! I also remember Danity Cane. Wasn’t that the group P. Diddy put together?

  • Chrsitie says:

    Gosh, I haven’t see n Monique in years! Sounds like an interesting movie.

  • Theresa says:

    This does sound like it’s going to be an emotionally gripping film. I prefer Indies over blockbusters most of the time, so this one is definitely going on my must see list!

  • Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This is going to be an amazing movie. I am so excited to go and see it.

  • Blackbird! I really want to see that movie. It’s been on my list for some time. Thanks for sharing your experience, it makes me want to see it even more! Lol.

  • Fi Ní Neachtáin says:

    I love a good indie film too, there’s something far more personal about them I think and they have grittier storylines. Blackbird sounds really interesting, I like that it’s a bit controversial. I’m struggling to think of what I remember Mo’Nique from, something from when I was growing up… was she in a sitcom?

  • Cindy says:

    I have to say, I do like Indie movies. To me they go the heart of the story, shows the background, and the raw emotions. Emotions that someone who is facing the same challenges would have. The struggle the character in this movie is so real, I can tell that by just watching the trailer. I am looking forward to adding this movie into my “must watch” list. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Kita says:

    I have seen the movie going around but haven’t seen the movie. I watched the preview and my goodness I am hooked. I am a huge fan of indie movies there are a few out there that are better than movies that go all out. I will be watching this

  • Shirley Wood says:

    Mo’Nique is just a beautiful woman! How awesome that she attended the screening and sat right behind you. I think Atlanta has become quite the hub for the movie making business. I understand a lot of stars have homes in the area. Sounds like it was a fun evening at the screening.

  • Jaime says:

    I love Monique! I’ve not seen much about Blackbird, but it looks like something I want to see soon.

  • christina says:

    What an excellent review, very honest and impassioned. I hadn’t heard of this film, but will definitely keep an eye out for it now. I also love indie films, and this one seems very powerful!

  • Rosey says:

    Sounds like a lot of people will be able to relate to Randy. I bet this is going to be a good movie to watch.

  • This is one I hadn’t heard of either, which I think is weird because Monique isn’t a no name actress. It sounds like a great movie though, and her review really got me interested.

  • Ora Lee Gurr says:

    What a treat to be invited to another one of the intriguing Indies and be so close to the stars who made it special. “Blackbird” sounds like it will become a classic film.

  • Becka says:

    I haven’t heard of this movie yet. It sounds like a good story line and I like the cover picture.

  • I love, love, love Mo’Nique and have been a fan of hers for years. I love how inspiring she is on Twitter to help those trying to lose weight. She looks amazing. This sounds like a great movie. LOL @ Danity Cane. I would not recognize her if I saw her. I don’t think I ever actually saw their faces.

  • Crystal says:

    Woe, this sounds like a good one. I haven’t been to a movie with my husband in awhile, but this sounds like a great reason to get out.

  • I had not heard of this before..Looks like a good movie.

  • I never knew that Mo’nique and her husband were high school sweethearts. How sweet! I’m glad that they are able to finally work together. I also like how they had new actors getting a break. lIt sounds like you had a great time.

  • Donna says:

    I’ve never heard of this movie, but I love Monique and this sounds like a great inspirational movie. Can’t wait to watch it!

  • Kira T says:

    I love Indie movies. My husband and I are very into movies that aren’t blockbusters. I think it’s amazing to see things that aren’t made to appeal to the mass market. This movie looks great. It is a controversial topic but I find those make the best movies.

  • Sounds like a great movie. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • So cool that you got to see the pre-screening with Mo’Nique. That would such a great experience to see the movie with her in the house.

  • valerie g says:

    awesome!!! i would have loved to be at that screening!

  • Tracey says:

    This looks like a really good movie with an all star cast! Can’t wait to see this one.

  • Michelle H says:

    I love indie films as well, but ALWAYS read reviews before watching them. It’s much more unpredictable what the content and rating are going to be. Thanks for the heads up about the jaw dropper right at the beginning. Also, I always love to see husbands and wives collaborating together.

  • This sounds like a really great movie. What a great opportunity to go to the interview.

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