Adepero Oduye as "Alike"
For the longest time, if you weren’t white, all there was for you that one part of The Color Purple where Shug kisses Celie (go read the book—they do a whole lot more than that). And even in LGBT indie film, with very few exceptions, it’s been all white girl this and white girl that. It’s changing a little now with higher profile films like Pariah, which pushed young Adepero Oduye into a deserved spotlight as Ali, the girl who leaves for high school every morning wearing cute little sweaters and changes into her boy clothes just before she gets to class. She’s butch but hasn’t learned to be tough yet. She’s vulnerable and sweet and just needs to be loved. You want to protect her from her angry, antigay mother (Kim Wayans), but you can’t. And that’s just one reason this movie and this character are both so heartbreaking.