Friday, December 18, 2020

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Firday night, Sharon and I watched Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Netflix. This film is being talked about for several possible Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. Denzel Washington initially had a deal with the television network HBO to produce nine of the playwright August Wilson's plays into films. The first film was Fences. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the second.

The play's title comes from Ma Rainey's song of the same name. Rainey was a well-known blues-singer in the 1920s.

The film stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman with Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo and Michael Potts in supporting roles. Boseman (Black Panther star) died during post-production.

The movie chronicles the 20th-century African-American experience. Set in Chicago in the 1920s, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom deals with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers.

When it was over, Sharon said "that was not good." While I liked it more than Sharon did, I don't recommend it. Boseman has several particularly powerful scenes. It will be interesting to see if he wins an Oscar.

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