Monday, May 18, 2015


Despite being predictably formulaic and oversimplified, HBO's BESSIE is totally worth watching because of the performances by Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith and Mo-Nique as Ma Rainey. I don't know what the beef is that Mo'Nique has with business associates or record companies etc. but she sure is a consistently impressive actress (proof being PRECIOUS and now BESSIE, entirely different characters with entirely different qualities) and Queen Latifah...

...I first saw Queen Latifah perform before any recording of hers came out. It was at a showcase for new talent thrown, if I remember correctly, by a record company in L.A.  Latifah was a teenager, the youngest performer on the stage that night, but she was the most impressive and memorable. When she came on stage and started performing it was electrifying, I felt my whole body respond, and even commented to the woman I was with that we were witnessing history.

She was born to play Bessie Smith, queen of the blues. And after watching this HBO film, it's clear Mo'Nique was born to play Ma Rainey. Their scenes together are nothing but great entertainment and pure performing brilliance. That's my take anyway.

No comments: