TV Watchin’: Lift
I had been looking for this film for a minute since reading about it a couple years back –it was actually at a film festival I attended years ago, but it managed to bypass me. “Lift” is a 2001 film starring Kerry Washington as an upscale booster, if there is such a thing. In her fierce designer clothing she generally uses stolen credit cards to purchase high end items, i.e. Versace, but occasionally lifts items directly, such as cashmere sweaters from expensive boutiques.
She does very well, and also works in a department store where her creativity is beginning to be noticed by the higher-ups. She comes to a crossroads, finding herself pregnant, with different priorities looming. She figures the only way out is one last big score–a risky endeavor at a fine jewelry store that requires her to work with others, something she’s been solidly against. Of course, usually when you go against your better instincts, there are consequences, and 99% of the time they are not what you would call good.
Other challenges come from a distant mother, played by the lovely Lonette McKee (Sparkle), whom she steals beautiful things for to please, but it never seems to be enough. There is also a directionless boyfriend with an unfortunate and distracting face, but I digress. An angry and bitter aunt that resents her lifestyle complicates things further. The quandary of leaving the shady life she’s known all her life, which has afforded her luxury, or going to New York to help open the new department store, have a baby, and go “straight” is too much for her to handle alone, until ultimately the decision is made for her, and there is nothing left for her to do but deal with what fate has handed her.
After viewing the monumental clunkers of the past couple of weeks, this was a refreshing change. It is not big screen material by any means, but it is certainly a lot better than a lot of the Black Cinema we’ve seen there for the past year. There is realism, decent cinematography, and what seems to be actual thought put into the script, though it could be a bit more fleshed out–some charcters are introduced briefly and never seen again, some scenes looked like they were edited in a rush and don’t flow well. It holds your attention though, and you don’t regret watching it when it’s finished, unlike some of the films I’ve mentioned here in the past few days. I could not find a trailer or clips, but trust, you can see Kerry’s star potential even then–catch it on cable this month.