Culture / Film

Lena Waithe delves into Black stardom and the 80s music industry in her next project

lena waithe beauty

More Lena Waithe, always. Who could forget Queen & Slim? And we're still praying that Twenties gets a third season. As of 2022, we're yet to find anything that doesn't hit from the actor, producer and screenwriter. And it looks like that won't change anytime soon. Her next project is a film called Beauty and Netflix has just dropped an official trailer.

Set in the 1980s, a time of powerful Black artists like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, director Andrew Dosunmu turns his lens on Beauty, an emerging singer. Performed by Gracie Marie Bradley, Beauty is offered a lucrative record deal by a music executive played by Sharon Stone. Her newfound career is not without warnings from her parents, who are wary of the industry and the way fame changes people. In the trailer we see Beauty's mother, played by Niecy Nash, question whether her daughter is ready for the opportunity. Meanwhile, Giancarlo Esposito who is onboard as Beauty's father, takes the position of her silent champion, pleading Beauty's case to win her mother over.

The trailer opens as a horror might. Beauty is getting her photo taken as her family watches on. She appears out of body and foreboding music echoes out in the background. We see snippets of Beauty's struggle to safeguard her identity, although we don't get a glimpse of her singing, presumably to save the surprise for the film's debut. Which, if all goes to plan, we can expect it on our screens on June 29 once it premieres on Netflix.

So far, it appears Waithe and Dosunmu are intent of showing the darkness of fame, the sacrifices one must make and the commodification of Black artists from all sides. As a result, the film has been handed an R rating.

Watch the trailer for Beauty below.

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