Premiering last year at the Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT section, Tayarisha Poe’s feature debut explores a group (aka the Spades) in an elite Pennsylvania boarding school and their leader, Selah Summers (Lovie Simone). Picked up by Amazon Studios, it’ll now arrive on their Prime service later this month (one of our top picks to see in April) and the first trailer has landed.
Our friend Nick Allen said at RogerEbert.com, “Selah and the Spades shows a great deal of promise for writer/director Tayarisha Poe, who demands your attention with style and story in her directorial debut. Some sequences can really pop, as with a center-framed monologue in which Selah talks about her agency as a cheerleader.”
Also starring Jharrel Jerome of Moonlight and Celeste O’Connor, see the trailer and poster below.
In the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old Selah Summers (Lovie Simone) runs the most dominant group, the Spades, with unshakable poise, as they cater to the most classic of vices and supply students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah’s best friend/right hand Maxxie (MOONLIGHT’s Jharrel Jerome) becomes distracted by a new love, Selah takes on a protégée, enamored sophomore Paloma (Celeste O’Connor), to whom she imparts her wisdom on ruling the school. But with graduation looming and Paloma proving an impressively quick study, Selah’s fears turn sinister as she grapples with losing the control by which she defines herself.
Selah and the Spades arrives on Prime Video on April 17.