Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★½

“They don’t care nothing about me. All they want is my voice.”

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What can I tell you about these performances that you haven’t already heard? Chadwick Boseman is amazing, and absolutely deserves to win Best Actor. Especially when you consider what he battled while filming, incredible doesn’t even describe it. This is his award the whole way. Viola Davis is remarkable as well, she is easily one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. Though I expected more screen time from her, she still nails this role.

The stories and moments of racism and struggle were powerful, but I think they could’ve been done more effective. Where these moments were very subtle, sometime unnoticed, it could’ve benefited from more emotion. The script wasn’t as engaging as I wish it was, and I found the ending to strain some credibility. Specifically the decision of one character. I just couldn’t buy into it.

Still, this movie absolutely stands out because of it’s two larger than life performances from Chadwick and Viola. Where the story isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be, it does enough right and tells a very important story about struggle and racism. That will always be important and a story that needs to be told. Rest In Peace, Chadwick Boseman.

Rating: B+

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