Netflix have assembled a solid lineup of awards season contenders this year, with Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and David Fincher’s Mank all poised to be in the running for several major gongs, but based on the early critical reactions, it would appear that Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has been established as the streaming service’s clear frontrunner.
George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of the famed August Wilson play comes armed with some serious pedigree both in front of and behind the camera. The last time one of Wilson’s works was brought to the big screen, Denzel Washington directed Fences, which saw Viola Davis win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, while the movie was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Washington is one of the producers this time around, while Davis plays the title character and delivers another incendiary turn. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom marks the final performance of Chadwick Boseman‘s career as well, and based on the reception so far, the late Black Panther star is in with a real chance of securing a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor.
At the time of writing, the period drama currently boasts a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes with almost 50 reviews in the bag, and praise is being lavished on almost every aspect of the movie, from the two powerhouse central performances to the production design via the script, direction and surprisingly timely subtext.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom hits Netflix on December 18th, and it seems subscribers will have the chance to not only bid a bittersweet farewell to Chadwick Boseman, but sit back and enjoy what’s quickly gaining a reputation as one of the year’s best films.