Queen & Slim
|Queen & Slim|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Melina Matsoukas|
|Screenplay by||Lena Waithe|
|Music by||Devonté Hynes|
|Edited by||Pete Beaudreau|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$44 million|
Queen & Slim is a 2019 American romantic drama film directed by Melina Matsoukas (in her feature directorial debut) and written by Lena Waithe, from a story by James Frey and Waithe. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson and Indya Moore. The plot follows two African-Americans who go on the run after killing a police officer in self-defense during a traffic stop gone wrong.
Queen & Slim had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 14, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures. It received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $44 million.
A criminal defense attorney, Queen, has dinner with her date, Slim, in an Ohio diner. Slim drives Queen home afterwards; his presumably erratic driving attracts the attention of a police officer, who pulls the two over and makes Slim step out of the car after not complying with his orders. The agitated officer draws his gun on Slim, and when Queen gets out and tries to record the incident on her phone, he shoots at her, grazing her leg. Slim tackles the officer before grabbing his gun and shooting him in self-defense. Queen tells Slim that they either have to go on the run or will spend the rest of their lives in prison. When they run out of gas, the pair flags down a pickup truck for help. The driver, Edgar, turns out to be a sheriff in Kentucky. At the gas station, Edgar gets a notice on his radio about the Ohio officer's death and identifies Queen and Slim as the suspects. They hold Edgar at gunpoint and steal his truck, trapping him in their broken-down car's trunk.
Queen and Slim travel to New Orleans to go to the house of her estranged Uncle Earl, a pimp, for help. Although Earl is reluctant, Queen convinces him to aid them since she helped him avoid jail for killing her mother. Slim proposes that they escape to Cuba, and Earl tells them that when he was serving in Iraq, he saved the life of a Mr. Shepherd who would be able to help them get there from Miami. Queen and Slim eventually take one of Earl's cars and head towards Florida. As they continue their drive in the morning, the couple's car breaks down. They take it to a garage where the mechanic's son, Junior, expresses his admiration for them.
The next day, Queen visits her mother’s grave with Slim and shares her grief over the relationship she had with her mother, and the two have sex in their car. Elsewhere, at a protest in support of Queen and Slim, Junior pulls a gun on an officer and impulsively shoots him, and is subsequently killed. Queen and Slim go to the home of the Shepherds, but when a neighbor recognizes them, a SWAT team shows up outside, and the Shepherds have Queen and Slim hide in a crawlspace under the bed in their room. As they go to take a spare car from the Shepherds' garage, a black officer stumbles upon them, but lets them go.
A man who spots their car one morning leads them to a friend with a plane that can get them away. He drives them to the tarmac, but as the two walk toward the plane, a squad of cops corner them. An overzealous cop then shoots Queen in the chest, instantly killing her. Devastated, Slim picks up her corpse and carries her toward the cops, leading them to gun him down as well. News of the tragic end to the manhunt is publicized everywhere, and the couple's real names are made public. Hundreds of civilians attend their funerals and view them as martyrs and heroes.
- Daniel Kaluuya as Earnest "Slim" Hines
- Jodie Turner-Smith as Angela "Queen" Johnson
- Bokeem Woodbine as Uncle Earl
- Chloë Sevigny as Mrs. Shepherd
- Flea as Mr. Shepherd
- Sturgill Simpson as Officer Reed
- Indya Moore as Goddess
- Jahi Di'Allo Winston as Junior
- Melanie Halfpenny as Naomi
- Benito Martinez as Sheriff Edgar
On July 19, 2018, it was announced that production company Makeready had won a bidding war to co-finance the dramatic thriller film Queen & Slim, scripted by Lena Waithe from an original idea by James Frey, which would star Daniel Kaluuya and be directed by Melina Matsoukas. In November 2018, Jodie Turner-Smith was cast to star opposite Kaluuya. In March 2019, Chloë Sevigny joined the cast of the film.
Queen & Slim had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 14, 2019. It was theatrically released in the United States on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures. It is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom in January 2020.
In the United States and Canada, Queen & Slim was released alongside Knives Out, and was projected to gross $12–16 million from 1,625 theaters over its five-day opening weekend. It made $1.7 million on its first day, Wednesday, and $2.4 million on Thursday, which was Thanksgiving Day. It went on to gross $11.9 million during its opening weekend (a five-day total of $16 million), finishing fourth at the box office. In its second weekend the film made $6.5 million (a drop of 45%), remaining in fourth.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 82% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 7.48/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Stylish, provocative, and powerful, Queen & Slim tells a gripping fugitive story steeped in timely, thoughtful subtext." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 75 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 5 out of 5 stars, with 79% saying they would definitely recommend it.
|List of Accolades|
|Award / Film Festival||Year||Recipient||Nomination||Result|
|African-American Film Critics Association||2019||Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe and James Frey||Impact Award||Won|
|Top 10 Best Films||Won|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards||2020||Jodie Turner-Smith||Best Woman’s Breakthrough Performance||Pending|
|Black Film Critics Circle Awards||2019||Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe and James Frey||Best Picture||Nominated|
|Lena Waithe||Best Original Screenplay||Won|
|Black Reel Awards||2020||Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe and James Frey||Outstanding Motion Picture||Pending|
|Melina Matsoukas||Outstanding Director||Pending|
|Outstanding Emerging Director||Pending|
|Jodie Turner-Smith||Outstanding Actress||Pending|
|Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female||Pending|
|Daniel Kaluuya||Outstanding Actor||Pending|
|Lena Waithe||Outstanding Screenplay||Pending|
|Outstanding First Screenplay||Pending|
|Dev Hynes||Outstanding Score||Pending|
|Tad Radcliffe||Outstanding Cinematography||Pending|
|Shiona Turini||Outstanding Costume Design||Pending|
|Karen Murphy||Outstanding Production Design||Pending|
|"Collide" (by Tiana Major9 & Earth Gang)||Outstanding Original Song||Pending|
|"Guarding the Gates" (by Lauryn Hill)||Pending|
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||2020||Shiona Turini||Excellence in Contemporary Film||Pending|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||2020||Melina Matsoukas||Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film||Pending|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||2019||Melina Matsoukas||Best First Film||Won|
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||2020||Kier Lehman||Best Music Supervision for Film||Pending|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||2019||Kier Lehman||Outstanding Music Supervision - Film||Nominated|
|"Queen & Slim Soundtrack"||Best Soundtrack Album||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards||2019||Melina Matsoukas||Best First Feature||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Award||2020||"Queen & Slim"||Outstanding Motion Picture||Pending|
|Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||Pending|
|Outstanding Independent Motion Picture||Pending|
|Daniel Kaluuya||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Pending|
|Jodie Turner-Smith||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Pending|
|Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in Motion Picture||Pending|
|“Queen & Slim Soundtrack”||Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album||Pending|
|National Board of Review||2019||Melina Matsoukas||Best Directorial Debut||Won|
|Online Association of Female Film Critics||2019||Melina Matsoukas||Breakthrough Filmmaker||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||2019||Melina Matsoukas||Best Debut Feature||Nominated|
|Rotten Tomatoes Awards||2020||"Queen & Slim"||Favorite Movie - Fan's Choice||Pending|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards||2020||Lena Waithe and James Frey||Best Original Screenplay||Pending|
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards||2020||Melina Matsoukas||Best First Feature||Nominated|
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- Kroll, Justin (November 8, 2018). "Jodie Smith-Turner to Star Opposite Daniel Kaluuya in 'Queen & Slim' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
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- "QUEEN & SLIM In Cinemas in January 2020". Filmoria.co.uk. 2019-09-13. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 1, 2019). "'Frozen 2' Scores Second Best Wednesday For November & Animated Pic With Near $24M, 'Knives Out' Earns $8M+: Thanksgiving B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 8, 2019). "'Frozen 2' Leads Dreary December Weekend With $34M+, 'Playmobil' Plunges To $670K – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
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- "Jordan Peele's 'Us' Named Best Film by African-American Film Critics Association 2019". hollywoodreporter.com. October 10, 2019. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- "Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards 2020 Nominations". awfj.org. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- "The 2019 Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) Winners". Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- "Black Reel Awards 2020". Retrieved 13 December 2019.
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- "Online Film Critics Society 2019 Awards (23RD ANNUAL)". Retrieved 29 December 2019.
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- "StLFCA Awards 2020". Retrieved 13 December 2019.
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