Queen & Slim premiered last night in Hollywood. The film is Melina Matsoukas’s feature film directorial debut, from a script written by Lena Waithe, starring Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith in her first lead role – and there’s been Oscar buzz about it for months, building on positive reaction out of select screenings since the summer. If the guest list last night was any indication and Queen & Slim does have a shot at contention, the campaign events in support of it might be the most well-attended on the circuit. Rihanna was there. Zendaya was there. Even Natalie Portman showed up. 

Natalie and Lena were both honoured last year in the Variety’s Power of Women issue. This year, Natalie, Lena, and Melina were named to the ELLE Women in Hollywood issue. Clearly they bonded and Natalie’s showing up to rep her friends’ new movie. We’ll get to some of the other attendees in another post but for now, let’s focus on Jodie because for months now we’ve been hearing that this will be her major breakout. Everyone I know who has seen Queen & Slim tells me the hype is deserved, that her performance is a revelation. That she is the real deal. 

So here’s Jodie on the red carpet last night, one that I imagine she’ll remember for life because, again, this is her first starring role in a feature film and the fact that it’s this film, a female-led project, a film about Black love and resilience, in which, as she told Essence recently, she gets “to play Queen, to know that there will be little Black girls who look like me, who will see the film and be like, ‘Oh my God, look, somebody who looks like me’… the dark-skinned Black woman with short hair, it’s so incredible…”

It must have been a moment and she shared it with Melina and Lena and the rest of the Queen & Slim team and… Joshua Jackson. Their first carpet! Look at them. What a handsome couple. What a sexy couple. And you know what’s coming next right? 

Bump Watch. This dress is the kind of dress that gets the Bump Watch going. I don’t usually participate in Bump Watch because it’s not a reliable gossip tool, more often wrong than it is right, but it’s going to happen here and it’s going to be a conversation. Before you go off and do that though, can we just enjoy this? Can we let this breathe? It’s their red carpet debut? Pacey Witter loves a Queen!