After executing what is still the most memorable night on Twitter back in 2015 and adapting it into a feature film, Aziah “Zola” Wells’s story of kidnapping and Miami nightlife is finally set to grace the big screen this summer. TS Madison is in it! This flick is about to win an Oscar, or something.
The trailer for Zola dropped Wednesday morning, which is perfect, because it’s Wednesday, and I needed something to live for. Courtesy of writer and director Janicza Bravo, and based on Wells’s original Twitter thread, Zola stars Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Succession fave Nicholas Braun, and Colman Domingo. TS Madison, the queen of the internet, is here too!
After seeing the festival darling at Sundance in 2020—remember film festivals?—Jezebel contributor Cate Young wrote: “What makes Zola so special is the way it balances conflicting tones with ease.” In it, Bravo and Wells tell a story of “power, sex work, and the exploitation of vulnerable women,” as Young remarked, in which the cocktail of humor and suffering “reads like an escalating series of absurdities, until suddenly, shit gets all too real.”
While Paige, who plays the titular Zola, has made appearances on Hit the Floor and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, I suspect this will be her breakout role. After Sundance, critics universally praised her dry and cutting performance as narrator and main character. Keough, meanwhile, has been on an upward tilt since her starring role in The Girlfriend Experience, and Braun’s viral success via internet darling Succession speaks for itself.
But most importantly, look at TS Madison! The dolls have watched her legend be forged for the last decade, at least. A star, a performer, a visionary, a comedic genius. In her immortal words: “Be yourself bitch! Step your pussy up, honey! Get a job! Own a business. Bitch, suck a dick!”
It’s a good day: The Zola trailer is out, TS Madison is in the movies, and I finally have a visual feast worth looking forward to after they stick that vaccine up my ass, or wherever it goes. Summer can’t come soon enough!