Run time: 99 mins

A former beauty pageant queen attempts to relive her glory days in this sincere mother-daughter drama


Set in Fort Worth, Texas, single mother Turquoise (Nicole Beharie) is preparing her daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) for the Miss Juneteenth pageant. Named after the annual holiday in June, which commemorates the day Texan slaves were freed in 1865, the pageant offers a college scholarship to its winner. Although Turquoise is seen as a local celebrity for winning as a teen, she never got to fulfil her dreams past the pageant, remarking that her daughter is “my dream now”. Working two jobs to try and make ends meet, she is fiercely determined to buy Kai a poofy aquamarine dress worth hundreds of dollars, even when the electricity is cut off at one point in the film. Yet Kai has different interests, preferring to dance and spend time with her boyfriend than perfect her etiquette, inevitably causing tension with her mother. While navigating this conflict, Turquoise is also being pursued romantically by Kai’s father Ronnie (Kendrick Sampson) and her boss Bacon (Akron Watson). Beharie is radiant in this tender portrait of motherhood and the American dream. (Rachel Williams)


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