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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Shirley"

Few deserve a biopic more than the pioneering figure of Shirley Chisholm, but perhaps because she was so groundbreaking, this film feels insufficient even despite its two-hour run time. King thoroughly embodies Shirley, prosthetic teeth and accent included, and she's surrounded by an excellent cast and an understated, authentic period production design and wardrobe. But, as always, trying to capture the essence of an icon's life, career, relationships, personality, and significance in under two hours is a daunting task.

Writer-director John Ridley opts for an episodic narrative that can at times feel rushed. In choosing to focus on her presidential campaign, the film skips over Chisholm's early rise to political power. Viewers unfamiliar with her life and career might need this context to better understand her character and motivations, as well as the significance of people and figures around her. Nonetheless, Shirley provides an entertaining enough and well-produced introduction to a preeminent historical figure.

Read the full review at CommonSenseMedia

Images courtesy of Netflix


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