Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


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Review: Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon as her band gather at a recording studio in Chicago in 1927 while they wait the trailblazing performer, Ma Rainey.
Director: George C. Wolfe
Actors: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Jonny Coyne, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown, Joshua Harto, Quinn VanAntwerp and Johanna Elmina Moise,
Year: 2020
Genre: Drama, History and Music
Conclusion: 3/5
I did feel that there was too much dialogue and almost wanted more of the jazz music. I thought that Chadwick Boseman’s performance was terrific. Viola Davis was also very good. Based on a stage play by August Wilson. The problem for me was that I almost found it too much like a stage performance and play and I had the same problem with the film Fences (2016). I do think that if you saw Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on the stage it would have a much deeper and stronger impact whereas on film it just doesn’t come across in the same way. The main themes in this film are racism and human suffering. At the Academy Awards in 2021 this won two Oscars. They were for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and also Best Achievement in Costume Design. At the Golden Globe Awards in 2021 this won one award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Chadwick Boseman – Posthumously). At the Bafta Awards in 2021 this won two awards for Best Costume Design and Best Make Up & Hair.


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