A THOUSAND AND ONE
Starring: Teyana Taylor, William Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, and Aaron Kingsley Adetola
Director: A.V. Rockwell
In the beginning, this film felt overly familiar, but A Thousand And One wound up affecting me on a strong emotional level. The entire ensemble is great, with Teyana Taylor being exceptional from the start and Josiah Cross doing an astounding job in the film’s final act, which offers up an emotional gut punch as we follow this woman from one obstacle to the next. Sadly, there are a few moments when it’s clear that this is director A.V. Rockwell’s debut, namely in the editing, but I dare someone to watch this and not feel something.
There has not been a more punishing watch this year, tonally speaking, than A.V. Rockwell’s devastating gentrification drama A Thousand and One. Although the film is certainly worth watching for the performances alone, especially that of Teyana Taylor, its bleakness throughout can be tough for audiences to want to sit through. It feels a bit long, there’s very little humor, and it could have used at least a few more wide shots instead of mediums. That said, the unique lensing style, as well as Josiah Cross and William Catlett’s truly great supporting turns, are worthwhile for those willing to endure.
This film was reviewed by Adriano as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.