Friday, April 29, 2016


First of all I'm pissed that the name of one of Miles Davis's innovative albums (and tunes) will now always be associated with this movie. Not that Don Cheadle doesn't do a good job of portraying Miles Davis, he does his usual brilliant job, especially in the scenes of Miles in later years.

But as the sole director Cheadle should have fired himself as co-screenwriter, and fired his co-screenwriter Steven Baigelman (who was hired I guess because he wrote GET ON UP, which should have been a clue not to hire him in my book).

The story attempts to distill the essence of Miles's musical genius and his multi-faceted personality and extraordinary life into a totally invented story (with only a few quick scenes based on actual events) of a mostly irascible Miles (which no denying he could be) and an imaginary friend (complimented by a group of imaginary adversaries) in a melodramatic macguffin chase that even Hitchocok could not have made watchable.

There's of course some great music, and a couple of great scenes, and the gorgeous Emayatzy Corinealdi as Miles' first wife Frances Taylor (who we all had a crush on, or at least I did, after her lovely visage appeared on the cover of Miles' LP SOME DAY MY PRINCE WILL COME and even more attractively on the cover of a later LP: E.S. P.) who okayed this flick.

Which may explain why his last wife, Cicely Tyson is not portrayed at all, but is replaced by Ewan McGregor playing some nonexistent Brit journalist who somehow becomes Miles' equal for no apparent reason except, as Cheadle explains, the financial backers wouldn't put up the money without a white co-star.

What a missed opportunity. Cheadle kills it as the older Miles, but he could have just adapted Quincy Troupe's great bio of Miles without any fabrications and had a truly insightful masterpiece instead of this incredibly confused attempt to capture Miles's uniqueness with a bad seventies movie plot.


Anonymous said...

Lal--Your commentary on this Miles bio-pic was enough to make me decide to skip it. Thanks for the heads-up.
Bob B.

Lally said...

it got some raves and Cheadle's performance is masterly so, as I've said elsewhere, if you can ignore all the fabricated shit, which is a lot, it can be rewarding to watch Cheadle his thing...