Review: Jezebel (2019 SXSW)

Title: Jezebel
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Numa Perrier
Starring: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Brett Gelman
Runtime: 1 hr 28 mins

What It Is: 19-year-old Tiffany (Tenille) lives in an extended stay motel with her sex operator sister Sabrina (writer/director Perrier), Sabrina’s boyfriend and their brother and sister. The family needs money so Tiffany finds a job. As a cam girl. The very innocent and impressionable Tiffany doesn’t have any clue what she’s getting into. When a man named Bobby (Gelman) begins an obsession with Tiffany’s alter ego Jezebel. One that may or may not turn into something a tad more sinister.

What We Think: Let me preface this by saying I live in Vegas and this film totally gets the city. It’s darkness, It’s hidden and not so hidden grotesqueness. Equally, it examines the lengths and necessities of simply living here. Narratively I think Perrier does an amazing job of crafting her version of Vegas and of Tiffany. Speaking of which Tiffany Tenille is a star and this simply showed that she could be. I enjoyed almost every part of the film outside of the supporting performances which at times seemed quite amateur. That might fall on Perrier but it was quite difficult to tell.

Our Grade: A-, I loved this! What a great, fresh and interesting film. Though it has subtle shades of Cam it’s a very differently designed tale. Release date and schedule are unknown as of writing but I’d suggest you check this one out if you get a chance. Do you like underdog stories? Seeing people pull themselves up from near homelessness? This is by no means a “feel good” story. It is a film that through its elusiveness will hopefully gain appreciation. If it doesn’t at least this absolute gem from SXSW knows it’ll have a place here as one of my favorite of 2019 thus far.

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