Southside With You Reviews
I give all this criticism first so it does not look like I'm Gaga over Sawyers performance. He embodies the quirky cool of Obama. The effortless comfort with a twinge of nerd. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. The community scene is written perfectly, as it shows Obama not at full DNC keynote speaker level, but almost as a budding flower. Sawyers performance is frankly beautiful to watch.
The problem here is that Sumpter's portrayal turns what could be a stunning character in Michelle into a flat character that I don't think portrays any of Michelle's real heroine-like characteristics. Contrast this with Sawyers performance that somehow embodies a mix of Chance the Rapper and Ferris Bueller both in their 20s, and we have the exact opposite of what the film seems to try to do, which is want a lot more of Barack, and less of Michelle, which is a shame given the power of the dialogue.