Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Viola Davis sparkles in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

On this week's episode, we're discussing Netflix's acclaimed film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," which is likely to attract some Oscar nominations. One thing you'll want to know about it is that it's based on a play, and the staging definitely pays homage to those origins.

On the surface, the play (and the film) is about a day in the life of Ma Rainey, who is the mother of blues music. But underneath that, there's a lot of conversations about the Black experience. The script includes lots of long, philosophical conversations between members of her band.

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"

Kpolly absolutely loved the movie, and says it should win all the awards this year (even Best Pickup Truck, if it's eligible). But if you're not prepared for its theatrical staging, you might have a hard time adjusting. And in truth I didn't think that all the acting was uniformly fantastic in this. Some of the beats that were supposed to come through ended up falling flat.

Hear Kpolly and I have a spirited argument about it on this week's episode.