Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is currently streaming on Netflix. It received unanimous praise from critics and streamers alike. In addition to critical acclaim, the film earned Oscar nominations for the late Chadwick Boseman & Viola Davis under the categories “Best Actor” & “Best Supporting Actress.” Chadwick won a Golden Globe, BAFTA & SAG award.
Before the upcoming 2021 Academy Awards air on April 25th, (the day after my mom’s birthday) I want to share my thoughts on this movie as well as Chadwick’s last hurrah if it is actually worth your spare time.
This review contains no SPOILERS. I’ll give everybody a chance to see this movie. Keep in mind, this is a short review. It’s not a three hour plus epic like “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” Just a small stakes historical drama based on a play. Does Chadwick Boseman deserves an Oscar for his final role? Let’s get down to business.
Yay & Nay Aspects
Yay: Chadwick Boseman & Viola Davis both did an excellent job for their respective performances. Chadwick also learned to play the trumpet. He gets Bonus Points for all that hard work while enduring colon cancer.
Denzel Washington produced the film. He made sure August Wilson’s play was adapted properly in cinematic form. Denzel also adapted August’s play “Fences” also featuring Viola Davis who ultimately won her first Oscar.
Fun Fact: Chadwick is actually Denzel’s protégé since college. The latter paid the former tuition at “The British Academy Of Dramatic Acting In Oxford.”
Cinematography never suffered from any technical issues throughout.
Production Value is Class A for a movie only set in one location.
Prosthetic Makeup transform Chadwick & Viola into their characters.
The film/play’s title is named after a then popular dance move from The 20s.
Set in Prohibition Era Chicago, tensions rise between Ma Rainey, trumpeter Leeve, band members and recording studio employees disputing which version of the titular song should they record in a rehearsal room.
Set Pieces are actually made by set decorators recapturing The 20s.
Costume Designs reflect The 20s.
Primary Themes for the film are Music, Religion, Racism, Leadership & Control. All themes are handled maturely.
Without giving too much away, Leeve had a troubled past prior to becoming a trumpeter.
I can’t tell you how it ends. You’re gonna have to see for yourself.
End Credits shows photos of the real Ma Rainey and the rest of the band.
The movie dedicates the memory of Chadwick. Nice of Netflix honoring his legacy.
Nay: I’m gonna be brutally honest fellas. I couldn’t find any flaws. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is an amazing movie worth your spare time. Chadwick Boseman deserves an Oscar. He and Viola Davis did an excellent job. If you wanna watch Chadwick’s last hurrah, I strongly recommend it. Don’t forget to watch Oscar nominated films including “Da 5 Bloods,” “Mank,” “The Trial Of Chicago 7,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Crip Camp” & “Over The Moon.”
“Black Panther II” is not gonna be the same without him. Ryan Coogler (director of Creed & Black Panther) said working without Chadwick is the most gut-wrenching moment of his career. Marvel Studios will dedicate his memory in the upcoming sequel and an upcoming Disney Plus series titled, “Wakanda.”
R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman. Your legacy will never be forgotten. Thank you for the memories. You set an example as a role model for kids for your iconic role as T’Challa/Black Panther among other performances. Your work will continue to inspire future generations. “WAKANDA FOREVER!”