A Thousand and One is beautifully written and impeccably acted. A.V. Rockwell proves that she is one to watch going forward.
WRITTEN BY ALEX GILSTON / JANUARY 28, 2023
Sundance Film Festival has been filled with some almighty debuts this year, but none quite as assured as A.V. Rockwells A Thousand and One (Which, rightfully, just won the U.S Dramatic Competition - Grand Jury Prize). A powerfully emotive portrait of a family set against the backdrop of New York City in the 90s.
Inez (Teyana Taylor) has just been released from prison and is trying to reacclimate to life. When she finds that Terry, a child in the foster care system, is unhappy with his current foster parents, she decides to kidnap him to try and give him a better life and give herself a sense of purpose. Over the years she marries Lucky to try and solidify the family unit, as they all grow up they face hardships together whilst also keeping Terry’s true identity a secret. Family is at the center of A Thousand and One. Despite Inez not being Terry’s biological mother she is still one hundred percent in his camp throughout the film. Shes constantly battling to help Terry strive in a difficult world.
Teyana Taylor is sublime as Inez. She makes it more than just the lead role as she becomes the pillar for everything around her. Her passion flows through and builds up until one of the culminating scenes where she offers a masterclass, as she finally confronts everything she's been running from with Terry. A Thousand and One is set over ten years so Terry is portrayed by three different people, Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney, and Josiah Cross who are all brilliant alongside Taylor. His relationship with Lucky (William Catlett) is tender as it goes from stepdad to the father he never had.
A Thousand and One is beautifully written and impeccably acted. It’s showcase of talent is astounding. A.V. Rockwell proves that she is one to watch going forward, and Teyana Taylor is a leading lady through and through. All of this comes together to make a really impactful film that will leave no one unaffected by it.