Zola (2020)
July 1, 2021 4:03 AM - Subscribe

"Y'all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch fell out?...." A film adaptation of "Zola" King's epic Twitter thread from 2015.
posted by EmpressCallipygos (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
And now the personal review -

It's really weirdly discordant, when you think about it, to find a story that's basically about sex trafficking to be funny, but...it was. The filmmakers have made sure Zola had as much agency as possible - both on and off camera; they worked extensively with the real Zola King, and made her the film's Executive Producer. This is her story, all the way through, and she uses her brains and know-how to get herself out of what could have been an even scarier situation.

All the buzz is about Colman Domingo's role in this, but it actually was a little smaller than I thought it would be. He's great, absolutely, but he isn't as prominent as the buzz might suggest, I thought.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM on July 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Is this streaming somewhere or is it only in theaters?
posted by miss-lapin at 5:11 PM on July 1, 2021

Seems to be only in theaters for the moment.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 PM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I didn't think the movie works well as a movie. There's something missing at the center of it. Like in the twitter thread, that's a story being told well... and the movie is a story being told not so well. The film is a retelling without much tension.

Colman Domingo is good in whatever he's in. If you haven't seen him in Passing Strange, you are missing out.
posted by Catblack at 10:12 AM on July 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

You can rent it on Amazon Prime now.

I felt the same was as Catblack -- the twitter thread works better than the movie. At first I wondered if it was just that I knew the story, but I went back to re-read the thread and it is still great and very suspenseful & surprizing. A'Ziah (Zola) King has a terrific voice and really uses the staccato quality of twitter to serve the story. The film misses out on that.

I thought the acting was great, though! Taylor Paige especially.
posted by Westringia F. at 11:55 AM on July 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought the point in the story where they ended it was kinda weird as well. It ends before the Twitter story ended.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:40 PM on July 23, 2021

well just watched this last night! it was weird, it was disturbing (and yes, disjointed) but we liked it.

I really very much like the portrayal of Zola and her life. she's got a stable life, a good relationship, a head on her shoulders. yeah she gets bamboozled by Stefani, but she survives, on her own terms.

I also felt like the depiction of strippers/strip clubs etc., was a lot closer to reality than is generally seen in movies/tv. like the pole and floor dance moves, the general attitude. the only wrong note was strippers being friendly to a new dancer at their club. NOT my experience...

the ending was abrupt, but I suppose its pretty non-traditional source material? would recommend.
posted by supermedusa at 9:51 AM on November 17, 2021

I really liked the Stephanie POV bit with Zola going around in trash bags and tromping around the club with a shower cap. In general Taylour Paige did a good job as Zola and had some funny reactions, like her dancing scene coming up short with the "you look like Whoopi Goldberg", that was brilliant and says it all really. What're the pearls for, if not putting before swine.

Hated the little twitter sounds they put in the movie, I guess to mark which quotes were directly from it? Horrible. I went back and reread the thread and it's interesting how much is different. They made Zola a bit more generically sympathetic in the movie; in the Twitter thread for example she seems more ok about pimping Jess out at first, she doesn't spurn the money lol, and less checked-out-I'm-done or at least less hangdog about it. A little too Zola being a POV character among wacky clowns instead of a character to consider among other characters.
posted by fleacircus at 4:03 PM on September 3, 2022

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