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Gina Prince-Bythewood
'Beyond the Lights' is showcase for Gugu Mbatha-Raw
'Beyond the Lights' is showcase for Gugu Mbatha-Raw

From the writer-director of the beloved "Love & Basketball," Gina Prince-Bythewood, "Beyond the Lights" seems like it will follow the tried-and-true celebrity-and-commoner formula seen in "The Bodyguard" and "Notting Hill." But the first sign this film aspires to be much more is the pitch-perfect opening scene, set in dank 1998 south London, where a white mother hurries into an Afrocentric salon after hours seeking help with her mixed-race daughter's hair before the next day's talent contest. The girl finishes second. Fast forward to years later, when Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw of "Belle" and "Doctor Who") has become a...

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