Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★½

“You got some leftovers. That’s what it is”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a spirited adaptation of August Wilson’s play that may seem to rely very heavily on its source material and original form, but justifies its existence with its highly talented cast and lively, dedicated performances. Most of the conversation surrounding the film concerns Chadwick Boseman in his final role before his unfortunate passing, which was well deserving of potential awards regardless of circumstance. He brings so much humanity and energy into his character that’s especially admirable knowing the condition he was in during production, giving the film a certain delicate force that it couldn’t have worked without. I hope there isn’t too much discourse at awards season as people inevitably and unrightfully argue that his recognition is solely due to his death, and instead let this film and Boseman be remembered and commended as they deserve to be.

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