Film: Get On Up

Opened: August 1, 2014

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Lennie James, Jamarion Scott, Jordan Scott, Fred Melamed, Jamal Batiste, Craig Robinson, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer, Josh Hopkins, Brandon Mychal Smith, Tika Sumpter, Aunjanue Ellis, Tariq Trotter, Aloe Blacc, Keith Robinson, Nick Eversman, J. D. Evermore, Ahna O’Reilly, John Benjamin Hickey & Allison Janney

Though Chadwick Boseman gives a fantastic performance as Godfather of Soul James Brown, it’s hard not to notice that this film filled with black characters was created by a team of white writers and producers as well as a white director.

James Brown grew up in an unstable household with his mom (Viola Davis) leaving him as a boy and later ends up in jail where he meets Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis). Eventually, Brown becomes a hit singer.

Boseman is electric playing Brown at various stages of his life. Unfortunately, Brown’s story can be hard to follow with the timeline continually jumping around.

Director Tate Taylor was criticized for being a white man telling black women’s stories in The Help and he once again takes on a story that he can’t justly tell.

Final say: I feel okay. ★★★☆☆

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