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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Old 10-19-20, 11:05 PM
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman




Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe. Starring Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, Dusan Brown and Taylour Paige. Coming to Netflix December 18.

Watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, In select theaters November and on Netflix December 18





This looks great. Looking forward to it.

Sadly this appears to be the final on screen performance from Chadwick Boseman. This was filmed in Summer 2019.

Old 12-18-20, 08:11 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

This is out today.
99% currently on RT: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ma_...s_black_bottom
Old 12-19-20, 02:19 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I have sort of mixed feelings on this movie. The performances were all great, but it never really felt like a full movie to me or like real life. It felt more like I was watching a play. I can see how those long monologs are perfect for the stage and to showcase an individual performance, but they must be very difficult to translate to a movie or make it feel natural.

Davis was probably the biggest standout for me, but Glynn Turman was also great in a more understated role. Boseman was good, but it felt more like an act than some of the other performances, but I suppose that could also be a reflection of the character he was playing.

I was really looking forward to this and expected to like it much more than I did.
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Old 12-19-20, 03:56 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Originally Posted by clckworang
I have sort of mixed feelings on this movie. The performances were all great, but it never really felt like a full movie to me or like real life. It felt more like I was watching a play. I can see how those long monologs are perfect for the stage and to showcase an individual performance, but they must be very difficult to translate to a movie or make it feel natural.

Davis was probably the biggest standout for me, but Glynn Turman was also great in a more understated role. Boseman was good, but it felt more like an act than some of the other performances, but I suppose that could also be a reflection of the character he was playing.

I was really looking forward to this and expected to like it much more than I did.
I had the same reaction as you. It felt too much like a play. I felt the same about "Fences". Great performances, but overall the film left me cold.
Old 12-19-20, 05:31 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Me three.
Old 12-20-20, 01:57 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Surprised at the reaction here. I loved it and think it's one of my top 5 of the year.

Many, many movies have been adapted from plays before and I don't have a problem with that. Sure, the stories tend to be more contained, and have a focus on monologues and interaction, but there's nothing that says that can't be a great movie.

Davis and Boseman are amazing in this, and I'd be willing to be there's a 100% chance Boseman gets nominated and a pretty high chance he'll win - it's an actor's showcase and he's terrific in it, hard to believe this is the same man who played the contained, controlled T'Challa.

Old 12-20-20, 06:00 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I did not realize that was Viola Davis. Both Davis and Boseman provided wonderful performances but did feel a bit like watching a play. Enjoyable movie and short enough at 90+ minutes to not feel anything needed to be cut out.
Old 12-21-20, 09:42 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I turned it off about 40 minutes in. I thought it was way too "stagey" and except for Viola Davis, I thought the acting was pretty bad all around. I liked Fences but this was a real disappointment.
Old 12-21-20, 10:55 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

It's a filmed play. The script and performances are as good as anything you'll see, but it's not really a fully-realized movie. 3/5.
Old 12-28-20, 02:17 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Just watched thought it was outstanding. Didn't know it was a stage play. That would explain why most of the movie is in one room.
Old 12-30-20, 09:26 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Felt very stage-y to me as well. Never bought for a second that it was anything other than a filmed play. That said, there were some great performances. Didn’t know if we would ever see Viola sing and was pleasantly surprised when she did. Glynn Turman was awesome, as he was in Fargo S4 — great 2020 for him. Bozeman was great as well, what a nice performance to leave us with. He was so gaunt he was almost unrecognizable, poor guy. Must have been tough for him to make it through.
BTW : My wife was totally turned off by all the arguing in the band room and walked out after ten minutes.
Old 01-09-21, 04:52 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I'm surprised by the (unanimous?) opinion that the movie was too stagey. I actually put off watching this because of that. I don't see it. The movie looked and felt as cinematic to me as any modestly budgeted day-in-life movie. I never once felt like I was watching a "filmed play" than I did watching something like Reservoir Dogs.

I enjoyed this immensely. Even the very small characters like Ma's nephew and companion had a richness to them. I don't understand why the Oscars don't have an award for Best Ensemble. The entire cast here is great.

Last edited by Crocker Jarmen; 01-09-21 at 05:29 PM.
Old 01-09-21, 05:04 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen

I enjoyed this immensely. Even the very small characters like Ma's nephew and daughter had a richness to them. I don't understand why the Oscars don't have an award for Best Ensemble. The entire cast here is great.
Instead of four actors winning an Oscar every year you'd have over a dozen. Fuck that. There's the SAGs for that nonsense.
Old 01-09-21, 05:45 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I'm not suggesting every single actor in the film receive a statue. Perhaps it's accepted by the casting director, or no physical statue is given, but I think it's worth recognizing films like Glengarry Glen Ross or Do The Right Thing where the entire cast is so strong it's hard to explain why one actor was more deserving of a nomination over another. It would also be a good way to recognize the work of supporting actors (like the store clerk in No Country For Old Men for example) who despite having one scene or few lines contribute performances as powerful as any of the leads.
Old 01-09-21, 06:05 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
I'm not suggesting every single actor in the film receive a statue. Perhaps it's accepted by the casting director, or no physical statue is given, but I think it's worth recognizing films like Glengarry Glen Ross or Do The Right Thing where the entire cast is so strong it's hard to explain why one actor was more deserving of a nomination over another. It would also be a good way to recognize the work of supporting actors (like the store clerk in No Country For Old Men for example) who despite having one scene or few lines contribute performances as powerful as any of the leads.
Well, NCFOM’s cast won the SAG for Ensemble and that clerk didn’t get shit!

Casting directors should be nominated though.
Old 01-09-21, 07:32 PM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
I'm not suggesting every single actor in the film receive a statue. Perhaps it's accepted by the casting director, or no physical statue is given, but I think it's worth recognizing films like Glengarry Glen Ross or Do The Right Thing where the entire cast is so strong it's hard to explain why one actor was more deserving of a nomination over another. It would also be a good way to recognize the work of supporting actors (like the store clerk in No Country For Old Men for example) who despite having one scene or few lines contribute performances as powerful as any of the leads.
I don't understand how your scenario would give recognition or provide any real benefit to the guy who played the store clerk from No Country.
Old 02-16-21, 11:53 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I thought this was really good, though tough to watch. It did feel stagey, even in the outdoor scenes, which took me out of the story a bit, but well worth the watch.
Old 03-20-21, 04:02 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I really enjoyed the acting in this one, Boseman, Davis, Turman and Domingo all pretty great, but to me, it also felt to much like a play. It's not because of the chamber play atomosphere. It felt like the movie wanted to tell a much bigger story which was compressed into this one. Boseman's character has to compress a year long struggle into three scenes. I would have liked to see the life story of his character or a biopic of Ma's struggles, but instead they just tell us about much more interesting events. Like I said well acted and I do think Boseman would have been an Oscar contender even without his death, but it's not a movie I would watch again.
Old 03-22-21, 08:41 AM
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Re: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) -- S: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

I watched "One Night In Miami" this weekend, which was also based on a play, and thought it was a much better adaptation. I was not expecting to like it, based on my experience with MRBB I mentioned above, but the dialogue was more interesting and relatable and I thought the acting was better.

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