Day: December 18, 2020

“Ma Rainey”: Late, great talents converge

A musicality ripples through the “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” movie.
Some of that, you would expect. The film (which has just debuted on Netflix) is about a blues recording session in 1920s Chicago; it has snatches of great music throughout.
But that’s just part of it. The dialog itself often has the rhythm and flow of a jazzy riff. It offers a rich sampling of two immensely talented men who died way too soon.
One is Chadwick Boseman (shown here, left, with Viola Davis center), who died of colon cancer in August, at 43. The other is playwright August Wilson, who died of liver cancer in 2005, at 60. Read more…

Best-bets for Dec. 20: music, music, “Music”

1) “The Sound of Music” (shown here, 1965), 7-11 p.m., ABC. Here’s a holiday tradition for ABC. It doesn’t have Christmas scenes, but offers joy, warmth and great music. Loosely based on the true story of a teacher who formed a family singing group, it has Rodgers-and-Hammerstein music at its best, both whimsical (“Do-Re-Mi,” “Maria,” “Favorite Things”) and potent (“Sound of Music,” “Climb Every Mountain”). It won five Oscars, including best picture, and Julie Andrews won a Golden Globe for best actress. Read more…