Honestly, it’s really hard to think of a great movie that involves skateboarding. Luckily, Skate Kitchen is a worthy example showcasing the values of this activity. Directed by the filmmaker Crystal Moselle, known for her documentary The Wolfpack, she has given us a fantastic film about friendship, identity, and trust. While skateboarding is known at times to be a male-dominated sport, Moselle shows that teenage girls can also shred and have fun. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, as long as you’re just being yourself and living your life. That’s truly a worthy thing to mention.
Skate Kitchen is about a teenage girl named Camille (played marvellously by Rachelle Vinberg) who loves skateboarding as a hobby. However, her mother (Elizabeth Rodriguez) forbids her from skating after an accident at the skate park. After scrolling through her Instagram and admiring a group of female skaters called “The Skate Kitchen,” she decides to join this crew and become friends with them. As mentioned in the intro, while it is a movie about skateboarding, it mainly focuses on the theme of camaraderie. It is most definitely a character-driven story that the audience will be deeply invested in.
Everyone in the film does a really good job portraying their roles. Crystal Moselle has the ability to bring out some amazing performances from relatively unknown actors, which is not easy to do. The lead actress Rachelle Vinberg is absolutely great, and you completely understand where she’s coming from. It is also a story of self-discovery, as Camille is learning what kind of person she is, and it’s quite interesting to see. As she’s trying to understand what she wants in life, it might be something the audience will relate to. Even Jaden Smith is surprisingly impressive as the skateboarding photographer Devon who forms a bond with the main protagonist. All these characters have personalities, and they seem to be having a lot of fun.
Skate Kitchen doesn’t really focus on dialogue to tell its story, because it just wants the audience to admire these people through fantastic cinematography and acting. Even if these characters don’t have a lot of lines, whenever they talk on screen, it actually feels natural. The movie does feel long at times, but then you don’t know what to cut out. Each scene adds something to the narrative, which makes you realize that the film is incredibly well-paced. Also, all the skate scenes are amazingly filmed, and you’re impressed by how talented they are. Even if you’re not a skater, you will still admit that it’s cool to see on screen.
Skate Kitchen isn’t just a great film about skateboarding, because it’s also an outstanding drama with a fantastic character-driven story. Director Crystal Moselle is now a force to be reckoned with, as she continues to impress moviegoers with her talent as a filmmaker. All the actors do a great job showcasing that it’s fine to just be yourself. Skate Kitchen really appeals to everyone interested in seeing a unique and intriguing movie that you don’t really see a lot in cinemas these days. It is definitely one of the best films of the year.