Selah and the Spades is an Amazon Prime original film that premiered at Sundance in January of 2019 and just came out this past April. It’s the directorial debut for Tayarisha Poe who shows tremendous potential. I was personally interested in the film because I saw that Tayarisha had previously worked on The Fits from 2015 as a part of the camera crew. That film really moved me so I was excited to know that she had already worked on something I love.
Selah and the Spades focuses on two girls who attend the Haldwell school, which is this prestigious private school full of eccentric students. Selah is a senior who is feared and loved by other students and Paloma is a sophomore who just transferred. Selah takes Paloma under her wing after Paloma snaps some photographs of her at cheerleading practice. Selah introduces Paloma to her right hand man, Maxxie and the life of being a Spade. The Spades are one of five factions in the school and they pretty much run things. Selah is power hungry but Paloma isn’t going to back down from being the best Spade she can be.
Selah and the Spades has a whole lot to say and it does so with spectacular style. Lovie Simone is someone to be on the lookout for. She is a fiery performer that did so many different things playing Selah. Celeste O’Connor gives a very calm and collected performance as Paloma and Jharrel Jerome has become one of the most reliable young actors working, so it was always fun to see Maxxie on the screen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tayarisha Poe has a long career ahead of her. I love how she empowered her female characters in different scenarios. Selah and the Spades is a beautifully refreshing film that shows endless potential for its creator.