Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★★

As the final credits rolled...

Dedicated To
Chadwick Boseman
In Celebration of his artistry and heart

This film is like a warm and fertile dream, all wrapped up in the blues. While the main theme of black America's struggle against the white man is not new, it's the performances that really make this stand out.

Viola Davis is completely engrossing in the role of Ma, a woman that knows who she is, what she's worth and how to get what she deserves. I've always had a soft spot for Glyn Turman and his sassy southern swagger, and our friend Colman Domingo who also starred in the latest Euphoria special was bang on form here too.

But let's be clear. This was the Chadwick show. Not because of the tremendously sad news that came after filming, but because for me this was where he was at his absolute best as a young and angry, loving and hateful character actor in full flow. Watching his central dialogue about his family history had me thinking of the unbridled emotion of Shakespeare stage plays, and I could not have been more impressed. What a devastating loss for the industry this is.

Until just now, I had Riz Ahmed as a dead cert for the Academy this year. Now I'm not so sure. RIP big fella.

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