Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★

All the praise for Boseman’s performance here is entirely deserved. His final work is immense. The way he carries himself, the way he alters his voice so effortlessly, the way he captures the volatility of his character — it’s truly excellent stuff.

The film however, leaves a bit to be desired. Much like with “Fences”, this is too evidently based on a play, and offers little visual invention that suits the medium of film. It also doesn’t seem like the play it adapts is all that solid, as there are some bizarre tonal shifts and pacing issues present that lead the whole narrative to feel jarring and oddly constructed. It’s fine overall, but it’s definitely worth a watch for Boseman alone.

Lucas liked these reviews