Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (2020) Chadwick Boseman as Levee. Image Credit David Lee/NETFLIX

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious horn player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom starring Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): (L to R) Chadwick Boseman (“Levee”), Dusan Brown (“Sylvester”), Colman Domingo (“Cutler”), Michael Potts (“Slow Drag”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey”), Glynn Turman (“Toldeo”) Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be released on Netflix on December 18, 2020.

About Jillian Dale 45 Articles
Film festival coverage and digital content ninja.

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