Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★

In a just world Dolemite Is My Name would be an awards heavyweight. It is excellently crafted, suited to awards sensibilities, and capped off with Oscar worthy performances. Unfortunately it's a Netflix film that celebrates an ridiculed black artist, so that kills its chances.

Dolemite Is My Name really captures joy and the way a community can express itself emotionally. It is not a celebration of bad art like The Disaster Artist was, it is just a celebration of art. There's no snobbery here and no pseudo-intellectual attempts to satirically embrace blaxploitation cinema. Instead Dolemite Is My Name shares with us the value of popular art, however crude and lowbrow it may be. Films are for people, not the snobs.

Eddie Murphy is sensational in the lead role, clearly loving every second that he can embody a persona that inspired him. Wesley Snipes is also exceptional, absolutely stealing his few scenes. It may be tempting to name Dolemite Is My Name the black Ed Wood but that doesn't do justice to this comedic biopic. It's just an absolute blast, made with a heart so large it could keep an elephant alive.

2019 Ranked

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