I would like to thank Netflix for allowing me to watch and review this film.
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Glynn Turman
Synopsis: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues”. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson’s play.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of the best play to film adaptations I have ever seen as it has the soul of the blues ingrained into its DNA. The soundtrack is so captivating and will attract music lovers of all kinds. With a run time of only an hour and thirty-four minutes, you have been transported into 1927 Chicago, Illinois for the story of a lifetime.
The casting ensemble is just as stunning as the music. The late Chadwick Boseman gives the best performance of his life. He was truly astounding and his work in the film was outright flawless. Chadwick was charismatic and relatable as he was in his previous projects. Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, and Glynn Tutman gave Oscar-worthy performances as well.
The plot was manageable but it had a profound message. The entire plot takes place in the same realm and does not stray far from the story’s main location. The only negative that bothered me was that I wish that some of the side characters had a little bit more depth. But that can easily be overlooked from the plot’s main conflict. It reminded me a little bit of The Hateful 8. Where the main plot takes place in one location but somehow keeps you interested by changing up the scenery.
Final: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is pure cinema. It tackles a lot of the racial trials and tribulations that are currently happening in America today. I will be shocked beyond belief if this film doesn’t get the Oscar recognition it deserves. This film bleeds talent old and new. This film is now playing in select theaters and will premiere on Netflix on December 18th.
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