"Little Woods"

I saw this film was an option during a flight from Philadelphia to Athens, Greece. I could not wait to plug my airplane given headphones and watch. Two sisters, Ollie and Deb, overcoming their dire circumstances, forces Ollie to return to a life of crime days before getting off parole.

Tessa Thompson as Ollie delivers the resiliency of her character, continuing to establish herself as one of the most versatile and dynamic actors onscreen in any generation. Lily James gives wonderful meekness and power as Deb, Ollie’s sister in a commanding performance. Lance Reddick plays Carter, Ollie’s parole officer. His presence onscreen is warm and motivating for Ollie. Charlie Ray Reid, Luke Kirby and Max Hartman are a part of a sharp supporting cast in their delivery.

Writer and Director Nia DaCosta delivers a story speaking of survival, despair, love and loyalty between Ollie and Deb. There are rich layers in the storytelling, broadening the scope of how the audience sees these women. The writing does not miss a beat in the story’s stakes. The story delves into women’s reproductive health, drugs, mental health, among prevalent issues in society. DaCosta’s direction is sharp in showing the lifestyle of these sisters, particularly in their homes. Music by Brian McComber fits the drowning tone of the film, heightening the film’s pulse. This is a golden independent film.