Miss Virginia: Film Review

Miss Virginia

I love watching films that shine a light on incredible real-life people I didn’t know anything about so I was excited to learn more about educational campaigner Virginia Walden in Miss Virginia.

The film charts how single mum Walden (Uzo Aduba) came to be a political force for children’s education in Washington D.C. Her determination to fight for underprivileged children’s access to scholarships for private school was borne out of a concern for her 15-year-old son James (Niles Fitch), who kept bunking off his underfunded public school. Implementing such a change is more straightforward in other cities but in D.C. the fight needs to go through Congress, making her campaign much more difficult.

Aduba, who recently won an Emmy for playing Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America, gives another impressive performance as another real-life formidable woman, but she is held back by the thin and cliched script and so isn’t quite able to do Walden the justice she deserves.

The film was informative and enlightening to me but it felt all very surface level – Walden did this and then she did this – and I didn’t feel like I got to know or understand the main players. I wanted more depth about Walden, her main champion, Congressman Clifford Williams (Matthew Modine), and her main rival, local politician Lorraine Townsend (Aunjanue Ellis).

Miss Virginia is an easy enough watch and the ending will lift your spirits, but I just wish this biopic wasn’t so shallow and by-the-numbers.

Available on digital HD from Monday 5th October

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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