Yelling to the Sky | Chicago Reader

Yelling to the Sky

This feature debut by writer-director-producer Victoria Mahoney takes a harsh but none-too-convincing look at a young mixed-race girl's shattered family and rough life on the mean streets and schoolyards of Queens. It's the sort of film you appreciate and want to root for rather than really like or admire—despite the strong cast, and Mahoney's determination to tell it like it is, or was. (The movie's decor seems to time-hop weirdly between the 70s and the present day.) The girl, played by Zoe Kravitz (Lenny's daughter), has a violent and dysfunctional family: brutal alcoholic Irish-American dad (Jason Clarke), beaten-up African-American mother (Yolonda Ross), and pregnant older sister (Antonique Smith). There are also supporting turns, both too brief, by Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) as a school bully and Tim Blake Nelson as a helpful school official. The film tries hard but doesn't really work, and yet one feels for its ambition. Better luck next time.

Credits

Director:

  • Victoria Mahoney

Cast:

  • ZoĆ« Kravitz
  • Gabourey Sidibe
  • Jason Clarke
  • Tim Nelson
  • Marc Jefferies
  • Shareeka Epps
  • Adam Tomei
  • Antonique Smith
  • Billy Kay
  • Sonequa Martin
  • Maurice Compte
  • Yolonda Ross

Producers:

  • Diane Houslin
  • Victoria Mahoney
  • Ged Dickersin
  • Billy Mulligan

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