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The best movie song ever sung: God Bless the Child!
It is a shame that most of her life story has been twisted; all the drama was there in the real world, why did they have to add and substract so randomly, for the sake of a hollywood flow? It is dishonest. Otherwise, and minus some overbearing melodrama, it would have been a good movie, even though it's progression is far from solid.
Diana Ross is amazing in this- I agree with Ebert, she never tries to imitate Billy Holiday but she never fails to become her. This movie is guilty of falling into typical biopic structure and an anticlimactic ending, but it certainly shows a harder and harsher side of Holiday that a lesser director would have glossed over. All in all, worth it for Diana Ross' singular performance above all.
The movie itself is not great. People go from yelling to a mumbly whisper very quickly and the dialogue and camera direction are definitely subpar. Also A LOT of liberties are taken retelling Billie Holiday's life. The score is lovely, which honestly is the only reason I wanted to watch this. Who doesn't want to hear more Billie Holiday covers by talented singers? An added bonus was Diana Ross's performance. She carried the entire film. I had no idea she was such a great actress.
Diana Ross is amazing in this film (the Oscarr nomination was well deserved) as is Richard Pryor and Billy Dee Williams. An incredible supporting cast and beautiful music (the Billie Holiday classics as well as the Oscar nominated Michele Legrand score) round out this amazing debut of one of the most enduring talents of the entertainment industry.
Diana Ross started off seeming like she was just playing herself but as the movie develops, she gives a powerful performance as she spirals down. Billie Dee Williams is great as well and the music, costumes, art direction, and sound.
one of my favourites a awesome bio-pic
There is no doubting this detailed retelling of the life of Billie Holliday makes for a compelling film. However, although Diana Ross nails the grittiness in Holliday's character, it does not translate into her singing voice (critically important when playing a slowly degenerating songstress like Holliday) and the result is, at best, a semi-faithful portrayal.
Diana Ross was an ideal candidate to breathe life into the train wreck that Billie Holiday became. The fall into the drug use is particularly horrific.