Sorry to Bother You review – weirdo workplace satire may become a cult classic

Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield plays a conflicted call-centre drone in Boots Riley’s freewheeling comedy, a patchy but impressively punk-rock affair Rapper Boots Riley’s first feature film shows a great deal of spirit and promise, and further secures Lakeith Stanfield as the one of the key performers of the moment. That’s my very polite way of saying I respect this movie, but wanted to like it more than I actually did. Despite being about serious matters (labor relations, systematic oppression, racial microaggressions), Sorry to Bother You is slight and raggedy, but when it leans into its surreal, midnight movie instincts it proves engaging and amusing. Cassius Green (Stanfield, once again immediately sympathetic with just a glance) lands a crappy job at a scummy call centre. His male managers look like they haven’t bathed in months; the female one (a very funny Kate Berlant) has one of those stapled-on smiles that makes you want to leap from a building. The movie gets into gear when Cassius makes his first sales calls: his desk “drops” into the home of whomever he’s dialled-up, no matter what they are doing. He gets a tip from an older cubicle-mate played by Danny Glover: “Use your white voice.” Continue reading...

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