His abrupt disappearance in August 2020 moved the whole world. In the drama “The Blues of Ma Rainey”, available on the Netflix platform, Chadwick Boseman signs a poignant performance. A final role which earned him the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film.
In this adaptation of the eponymous play by August Wilson, directed by George C. Wolfe and produced by Denzel Washington, the unforgettable performer of King T’Challa in “Black Panther”, dead at only 43 after colon cancer, plays Levee, a young black trumpeter who has to record an album with “Ma Rainey”, nicknamed the “Mother of the Blues”, and played by Viola Davis, totally unrecognizable. The one who won in 2017 theOscar for the best supporting female role for “Fences” – by the same Denzel Washington – gives voice and height to this great lady of the blues of the interwar period, a true avant-garde.
The story plunges us into the very heart of a racist America, and more precisely in Chicago in the 1920s, in a cellar that serves as a rehearsal room. It is between these four walls where a piano sits, that we will follow, for a day of recording sessions, a group of black musicians from different generations who will converse and play in the dampness of a scorching summer. .
In the skin of an idealistic and rebellious man
All have been victims of racist attacks and have some confessions. If they “understand each other culturally, and respect each other,” as actor Michael Potts, who plays the role of bass player, pointed out during a virtual press conference, Levee is like a mad dog. Idealist and full of life, he dreams of new chords, more modern scores, and a music industry that is not owned by whites.
With his impeccable shoes, his hat, and his perfectly tailored suit, this idealistic and rebellious young man wants to revolutionize the genre and struggles to follow the instructions of the extravagant diva who is long overdue. He wants to be heard.
– CANAL + Cinema (@CanalplusCinema) March 1, 2021
And we only see Chadwick Boseman in this feature film, whose staging recalls a theatrical camera interspersed with musical passages designed by the saxophonist at the two Grammy Awards, Branford Marsalis. A film that addresses racial tension, echoing recent and dramatic events that have taken place in the United States. The tension is palpable, the outcome will be dramatic.
The emaciated face, the actor sings, dances, twirls, and impresses in a long moving monologue during which he launches, with tears in his eyes: “God takes the prayers of the negroes and throws them in the garbage”. This sequence is all the more poignant when we know that Chadwick Boseman had fought for four years against the disease, without saying a word to anyone on the set.
Thanks to his masterful performance, Chadwick Boseman who won a Golden Globe posthumously in a virtual ceremony on Sunday February 28, could also compete for an Oscar next April. He would thus be the third actor to be rewarded after Peter Finch for “Network, hand on television” in 1977, and Heath Ledger for “The Dark Knight: The Dark Knight” in 2009.
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Chadwick Boseman: actor wins posthumous Golden Globe for “The Blues of Ma Rainey”