MIRROR, MIRROR: Patti Cake$ and Beach Rats

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Two movies have opened recently in which the central characters occasionally gaze at themselves in the mirror, not for narcissistic reasons, but as if trying to figure out who they really are.

Patti Cake$ is a somewhat zaftig, working class, twenty something, white female who has dreams of being a rap singer. At first glance this might seem a preposterous idea, until she opens her mouth and recites one of her hundreds of poems she writes every waking chance she gets.

Then she has the power of Maria Callas, a vengeful angel laying waste to her multitude of distracters. Read the rest of this entry »