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Yelling to the Sky 2012

NR CC
4.3 out of 5 stars (36) IMDb 5.9/10

17-year old Sweetness O'Hara is struggling to find her place in her rough inner city neighborhood and broken family. She finds herself in a downward spiral before trying to turn her life around.

Starring:
Zoë Kravitz, Gabourey Sidibe
Runtime:
1 hour, 35 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Victoria Mahoney
Starring Zoë Kravitz, Gabourey Sidibe
Supporting actors Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Clarke, Sonequa Martin-Green, Zabryna Guevara, Marc John Jefferies, Maurice Compte, Yolonda Ross, Antonique Smith, Shareeka Epps, Adam Tomei, Peter Anthony Tambakis, Billy Kay, E.J. Bonilla, Gleendilys Inoa, Tariq Trotter, Deema Aitken, Haas Manning, Gio Perez
Studio MPI Pictures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This beautiful debut by Victoria Mahoney captures you from the start. Sweetness (played by Zoe Kravitz) is a biracial child living in a harsh urban environment where "mean" girls often result to bullying for dominance and attention. Mahoney's artistic choices and direction in the film are stunning, as she reveals that the underlying need in each of her character's lives -- including the transformation of the alcoholic father who comes 360 at the end and learns to embrace his daughter before she follows in his footsteps as well as the "mentally ill" mother played beautifully by Yolanda Ross -- is love. Compelling performances and deeply engaging. Not to be missed! A beautiful coming of age narrative about a young teenager coming to terms with her heritage, culture, self, home, environment, and community.
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Format: Amazon Video
There is a rawness to the film "Yelling To The Sky" that is likely to evoke strong reactions with most viewers. At times humorous, at times brutal, this coming-of-age story from writer/director Victoria Mahoney has a palpable anger underneath its surface that really sets it apart from many comparable films. While I don't know enough about Mahoney to label this autobiographical in nature, there is a certain intimacy and truthfulness that make it feel like a cathartic self-examination of a life lived. While I appreciated this spirit, however, the overall experience ended up having less impact for me than individual components of the film. For my taste, some of the characterizations lacked definition. A drama about race, abuse, violence, and family dysfunction, "Yelling To The Sky" can be unrepentantly bleak. And as the central character spiraled out of control, I found myself as an outsider looking in on (and sometimes not believing) the harrowing circumstances before her.

The film opens with a brutal neighborhood attack as everyone seems aligned against Sweetness (Zoe Kravitz) and her friend, apparently because Sweetness comes from a mixed-race parentage. You don't get much explanation, really, but as the conflict is resolved--the film unleashes a powerfully visceral punch to your gut. From here, we get glimpses of Kravitz's home life. Her mother seems unstable, her father volatile, and her sister is in a troubled relationship. The screenplay never digs too deeply into the peripheral characters, we primarily see their actions through Kravitz's eyes. As she wants to fit in, poor choices and bad opportunities take her down an unpleasant road.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had heard great things about this film for a while and because I like to support independent films with characters of color, I purchased it.

The acting was great. Zoe Kravitz was authentic and restrained. In fact, everyone was great. Gabourey Sidibe was just okay.

The direction, the look, the music, everything that makes a good movie great was here.... but....

I still didn't "like" it. Rather than spoil it, I will say that I felt the writing caused some disconnect between me and the characters. Some decisions are made that I couldn't sympathize with because I didn't understand the motivation.

Finally: Jason Clarke was REALLY good. I could identify with his character and his transformation. I understood his motivation. It's a shame that the promotion for this film relies so heavily on Gabourey Sidibe, because when it comes to the overall story, she is a non-factor.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I did not like the cussing, but Zoe was a good actress. She played her role as if she was really living it. It's a shame that we sometimes feel that we have to compromise with the ways of the world,in order to have friends or to be accepted, or for us to feel happy. Even though the ending was a good turn around, look at the damage that we cause to ourselves and to one another while we try to find ourselves, or as we are running away from whatever. Hurting people hurt people! Shame!
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Format: Amazon Video
Sweetness (Zoë Kravitz) is a 17 year old girl growing up in the melting pot of Brooklyn, N.Y. (Filming Location). She is bullied. She is friendless at school. She looks up to her sister (Antonique Smith) who is pregnant and leaving, only to return months later with a baby and a bruised face. Dad is apparently a cab driver who has alcohol issues and is abusive when he drinks. Oh, not call DSS abusive, just an A-hole who breaks things, swears and shoves. Mom (Yolonda Ross) isn't mentally right. Her name is Rainy short for Lorene, which symbolizes her tears of sadness.

Sweetness feels trapped. Her escape is to become part of the drug dealing scene. She wants to deal just enough so she can get by, "right now." And as her sympathetic somewhat caring drug supplier warns her, "Right now keeps on changing."

The story is about hitting bottom, and recovery without having an epiphany or seeking special outside help. This is a well acted drama, although slow at times.
It is less about plot and more about character. A more believable inner city film then what we have been subject to here of late.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, brief sex. No nudity.
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