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MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
2020, Netflix, 94 min, USA, Dir: George C. Wolfe

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) - who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry - spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives. Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.


MR. HOLMES
2015, Roadside Attractions, 104 min, UK/USA, Dir: Bill Condon

This graceful adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind is set in 1947, when a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) has retired to a Sussex farm he shares with widowed housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son (Milo Parker). Struggling with both memory loss and the fictionalization of his exploits, Holmes tries to deduce what went wrong in his final case 30 years earlier. “What Ian McKellen does with Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective in MR. HOLMES is nothing short of magnificent.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.


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