Sunday, April 18, 2021

MOVIE WEEKEND: THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for Nomadland is beautiful; for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, lush; and my word for The United States vs. Billie Holiday is dull (2021; Rated R; I watched it on Hulu). 

The United States vs. Billie Holiday has one Academy Award nomination: Best Actress (Andra Day).

I wanted to like this movie. Andra Day's portrayal of Billie Holiday is good (she does her own singing), but it can't make the movie interesting.

The federal government wants Billie Holiday to stop singing Strange Fruit because it will make African Americans want their civil rights. They go after Holiday for narcotics use, and she has a rollicking affair with an agent. 

It's a true story, but the movie isn't focused.

I don't feel I wasted my time by watching The United States vs. Billie Holiday. I want to see as many nominated movies as I can, and this is one of them.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



18 comments:

  1. I am glad you didn't feel you wasted your time, but regret a dull couple of hours on your behalf.

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  2. Hi Janie - I'm looking forward to being able to see some good films and certainly these seem worthwhile and we'd learn from the Billie Holliday one ... good to know about. All the best - Hilary

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    1. The movie is based on a book, which I hope is better than the movie.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean when you say you really wanted to like this film. My favorite films are those that are based on real life people but very often, they miss the mark. It makes me want to make films myself, it truly does.

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    1. When you're ready to make a film, let me know and I'll be some kind of assistant. I imagine your husband will be D.P.

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  4. We've been watching as many nominated movies as we can find too. Last night it was "Hillbilly Elegy." So far, I'm completely underwhelmed by all of them and all their performances except for Chadwick Boseman's in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." That's the only performance that made me go "WOW!"

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  5. I read Nomadland and really liked it. I'm looking forward to seeing the film. I need a better set up -- a friend will help soon - because I have lousy online reception for things I can't download. Living in the mountains creates a few issues.

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    1. I want to read Nomadland because the movie is so good.

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  6. I want to see this one but heard it is not a very good film which is sad. I actually watched Minari and The Father. Minari is excellent and the connection between the grandmom and the boy is excellent. The father is also very good but was tough for me to see because they have the dementia down pat. Hopkins gives another brilliant performance and it is mainly watched through his eyes. Because of this view, it may feel jumbled but I think it was done on purpose so we can feel how he feels.

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    1. I want to see Minari and The Father. At one time, Hopkins was mentioned as the front runner in the best actor race, but now I think it's Boseman. I wish I could say US vs Billie Holiday is unfocused because we see it through a character's eyes, but that's not the case.

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  7. I watched it and thought it was OK, but not great.

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