Two old friends watch their Oakland disappear.
“It takes a lot of movie to get at Oakland’s truth,” said Alan Scherstuhl in VillageVoice.com. Somehow, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal have done justice to their polyglot, forever-evolving hometown with a movie that is, among other things, a “tender and hilarious” portrait of friendship and “a piercing melodrama about race and class.” Diggs, who is black, plays a soft-spoken ex-con trying to get his life in order. Casal, who is white, plays a tattooed, pistol-toting troublemaker who starts fights with the hipsters moving into his neighborhood. The two co-writers and co-stars, who are lifelong friends, have a rapport that’s “marvelous to watch,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Time. But this is a buddy comedy that gets heavy when Diggs’ Collin, who’s completing a probation sentence, sees a police officer shooting an unarmed black man and has to decide if coming forward as a witness will put his freedom at risk. The earnestness of Diggs and Cohen’s hometown portrait is both a strength and a weakness, said David Sims in TheAtlantic.com. “It’s what makes the movie so magnetic at times and so awkward at others.” But with Blindspotting, they’ve created “a weighty drama that has no problem being funny for about 75 percent of its running time.” And their passion is admirable. ■