Mister Gaga’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom just did what I expected it to do: Become my favorite film of the year. Everything in this film, from beginning to end, was fabulous, gorgeous, and magnificent. The political issues are well played by this film throughout the ending. The direction by George C. Woolfe is phenomenal and has this energetic vibe into it. Then as for the characters, you don't really know if they are doing exactly the right thing or it's the other way around. Their very complex. Like take for example Ma, you'd be left wondering if she's a demanding diva or just wanted to stand up for those who take advantage of her. And also, there are lots of flashy and captivating scenes in this film. The monolog that Chadwick gave and the recording session for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was very well done. The dynamism in this film though elevates when Ma Rainey finally arrives and begins to perform the songs. And the technical aspects for this film were all beautiful. The close up shots especially during Ma Rainey's dancing was stunning. And the costume, production, makeup and hairstyling were all fabulous. MWAH-ness all over this film.
Now as for the performances! Should Viola Davis be campaigned supporting? Absolutely not! I think she's co-lead in this film. Viola Davis became Ma Rainey! Viola Davis captured the essence of Ma Rainey and she perfectly did an OH-AMAZING job as Ma Rainey. She didn't just wear a fat suit, she even gained pounds for this film. Viola Davis just DELIVERED, as she always do. Chadwick Boseman, it was sad to see him one last time on the screen, but what he did is what I call dedication. He was the heart of the film and he killed the role of Levee. He gave his best performance ever and it's brutal he died too soon as he really did prove that he's one of the greats. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Jeremy Shamos, Michael Potts, and Taylour Paige also gave phenomenal supporting performance, better ensemble than Trial of Chicago 7 tbh. Now as for the Oscar's, I think that Chadwick is a lock already and Viola Davis may not be a lock, but I think she's winning for now. And I personally think both should take home that Oscar glory for now.
Overall, 101% my favorite film of the year as I think it's the most dazzling film of the year filled with OH-AMAZING performances, gorgeous sets and costumes, splendid writing, and just the best quality I can say to this.