Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★

“Your God ain’t shit!”

Reasons why this is my favorite picture of 2020. 

1. Boseman during the knife sequence. Great films should make you reconsider everything you think you know. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom puts a mirror in your face and makes you look at yourself and think. Real Hard. 

2. Viola Davis is the best American actor in the world because she can say everything without uttering a single word. Viola Davis’ expressions, patience, eyes, and physicality take the film into the stratosphere. I’m not one for accolades or Oscars. However, if Davis does not get recognition for what she does here it would be ridiculous. 

3. The film’s pace is pitch perfect. 

4. The camera helps drive the naturalism and the picture is shot with an open camera that frames every actor courteously. 

5. One criticism: That damn Coke commercial in the second act. 

Many more positives. An important picture with memorable characters that stings like a hornet. 

“They don’t care nothin about me. All they want...is my voice. I done learned that. And they gonna treat me the way I want to be treated no matter how much it hurt em....As soon as they get my voice down on one of them recording machines, then it’d be just like I was some whore and they roll over and put their pants on.”

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