Selah and the Spades review – stylish leader of the pack

This arresting debut about a high-school ‘queen bee’ nurturing her successor-in-crime heralds a singular new talent in director Tayarisha Poe Writer-director Tayarisha Poe has wryly described her debut feature (which played to enthusiastic responses at Sundance last year) as “ Clueless meets The Godfather” . Set amid the five warring factions of an elite east coast US boarding school, it’s a woozy, hallucinogenic drama that reimagines the landscape of high school as a a daytime-noir terrain of crime and punishment, tangentially reminiscent of the life-and-death struggles of Rian Johnson’s arresting 2005 debut Brick . Picked up by Amazon, which swiftly started developing a spin-off TV project, Selah and the Spades is an audacious calling card for Poe, marking her down as a major talent to watch. Lovie Simone exudes a brooding sense of purpose as Selah Summers, leader of the titular pack who run Haldwell school’s thriving supply of illicit substances. It’s the spring term of her senior year, and Selah, who will