Blockbuster season was a complete non-event in 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the most lucrative time of the year for Hollywood passed by with a whimper. Now that we’re into the depths of winter, awards season is upon us, and one of the early frontrunners for virtually all of the major categories is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Netflix have amassed a solid lineup of prestige projects this year, with George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of August Wilson’s play joining the likes of Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and David Fincher’s Mank as potential heavy hitters. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 99% from close to 100 reviews, with leads Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis being singled out for particular praise.
By all accounts, Boseman’s final performance is a phenomenal showcase for a talent that was taken far too soon, and he’s being positioned as the favorite for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, while he’s also in with a real shot of scooping the Supporting Actor prize as well for his brief yet memorable turn in Da 5 Bloods, which would make the Black Panther star just the thirteenth person in Oscar history to pick up two acting nods in the same year. And if he wins the big one, it would be the first posthumous Best Actor victory for over 40 years.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom hits Netflix this Friday and is guaranteed to draw in massive numbers as subscribers rush to check out the final movie of what could have been a legendary career, while the buzz surrounding the film will also no doubt see it play well for a number of weeks as awards season kicks into high gear.