News – USA – “US. v Billie Holiday “: Andra Day plays the star as a talented singer and tragic figure and takes on the challenge

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The scorching Hulu movie makes the case that the government investigating the singer’s heroin abuse really just wanted to stop her from doing “Strange Fruit”

Like the telling of the story in the sometimes revised but scorching and memorably impactful “The United States v Billie Holiday,” the government didn’t really care about the worried angel-voice singer who was shooting heroin when she did this Country toured

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”: 3 out of 4

Hulu presents a film by Lee Daniels, written by Suzan Lori-Parks. No MPAA rating. Running time: 130 minutes. Available Friday on Hulu

The substance abuse – that was simply the means of getting on vacation. That was the reason for spending inordinate amount of time and manpower harassing her, breaking into her inner circle, arresting her and putting her in jail if a rehab facility would have been more beneficial trying to plant evidence on them and prosecute them all literally move to the day she died what the government really wanted to do was get them to To stop singing that damn song: the haunting and devastating mood piece “Strange Fruit,” which told the story of the obscene lynching epidemic in the south and served as a wake-up call for everyone at Time Holiday sang it, especially for the whites in the audience who became a loved one Entertainers came and didn’t expect their comfortable sensations to be challenged and shaken to the core

Long before the 1960s and protest rock anthems, the blues often served as a traveling “news show” unveiling the darkest nightmares that coexisted with the great American dream director Lee Daniels (“Precious”, “The Butler “) gives this relatively simple story the style and gravity it deserves, but what makes” The United States v Billie Holiday “special is sometimes the breakout performance by Andra Day, a Grammy nominated singer who preceded it beautiful and heartbreaking tour de force had no experience as a feature film actress and could potentially lead to a nomination for best actress. Day is a fiery talent who can rise to the monumental challenge, not just soaring performances of “All of Me”, “Solitude” and “God Bless the Child” et al, but to create a character who is gifted, funny, wild, difficult, passionate, sexy – and tragic is self-destructive

With Montreal as the proxy for 1940s and 1950s America (production design, costumes and make-up are top notch) and Daniels, based on a dense and characterful script by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, “The United States v Billie Holiday “delivers an early blow in the form of photos of lynch victims in the south, with Holiday singing” Strange Fruit “at every opportunity, much to the government alarm and the dismay of their own management team that it’s more about raking money than making waves even in mid-century America you couldn’t arrest anyone for performing a fire protest song, according to Harry Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund), the first finance commissioner for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ business to silence Holiday by imprisoning her for heroin abuse, which became an open secret in the 1940s was

Director Daniels does an amazing job recreating Holiday on her best stage and establishing major supporting characters, from her abusive manager Monroe (Erik LaRay Harvey) to two-time club owner John Levy (Tone Bell) to Billie’s only true friend and trusted confidante Roslyn (Da’Vine Joy Randolph in a performance that steals scenes) – and most importantly, to a Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), a black federal agent who is romantically involved with Billie, even though he does openly acknowledges Anslinger sent him on a mission to have her arrested for heroin possession

Holiday doesn’t care about Jimmy’s undercover job She is addicted, and even a year in prison doesn’t stop her coming back to the needle again and again, as people around her either ignore the problem or actively activate it. (To prove his loyalty to Billie, Fletcher even shoots up, which further tarnishes his loyalty and further complicates their bizarre but undeniably loving alliance How can you be a crusade law enforcement officer when you commit crimes with your aim and fall in love with it?)

Andra Day looks and sounds like every inch of the movie star in the performance numbers and when Billie enjoys rare moments of peace and happiness backstage – and she is just as heartbreakingly believable when Billie’s looks and her soul deteriorates from years of drugs crushed abuse and being beaten physically and emotionally for a lifetime by a number of men who gazed at this amazing, glorious, unique star and saw little more than a cash register, sadly, the self-righteous governments and their illegal obsession with Billie Holiday weren’t the only ones Bad guys who didn’t care if they ruined their lives as long as they got what they wanted

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Billie Holiday, Andra Day, Lee Daniels

News – USA – “US. v Billie Holiday “: Andra Day plays the star as a talented singer and tragic figure and takes on the challenge
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Source: https://chicago.suntimes.com/movies-and-tv/2021/2/23/22295417/billie-holiday-review-movie-united-states-andra-day-lee-daniels