Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★½

The film is one thing, Chadwick is another. The film feels a little trapped, a little incomplete – everything that's there and happens is compelling, but I wish it moved more freely and we had more time with the story of these characters. Not just them as people but the journeys they go on, the things they see. Chadwick is incandescent, ebullient one second and red-raw another. Everything is better, bigger, more alive and hopeful when he's around. We'll never stop missing him.

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