Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Is Moving, But…

This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has the style, the music, dialogue, the nuances of class and race jockeying for power, and the underlying thread of a pain that can never be released—this is filmmaking at its finest. Of the powerful, entrancing performances from Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, and Viola Davis but Chadwick Boseman puts this film over the line, and could’ve launched it into greatness. This film should be an essential addition in any filmmaker course, for what it does right and where it failed—Viola Davis in a fat suit.