The United States vs. Billie Holiday Reviews

Jan 22, 2023
The United States vs. Billie Holiday is messy yet wonderfully acted. Odd narrative choices and jumbled timelines disrupt what is otherwise an excellent platform for Andra Day...
Sep 11, 2022
Why didn’t the filmmakers here go into Strange Fruit with any aim at examining why the song was so personal to the famed singer? It’s practically an act of censorship.
Sep 1, 2022
The United States vs Billie Holiday features a powerhouse performance from singer/songwriter Andra Day, but its story is sadly substandard.
Aug 31, 2022
Unbalanced, at times it moves along well, and at others, it's cold... Narratively, we don't have a trailblazing movie. [Full review in Spanish]
Aug 17, 2022
Most centrally, the film is about a country that dehumanized and diminished Holiday. The film’s cold detachment to her skews dangerously close to partaking in that diminishment.
Mar 1, 2022
The United States Vs Billie Holiday had a rich and fascinating story to adapt, so its disappointing that the end result should be so average. We can only hope that the excellent Day gets to play the legend again in her career.
Feb 12, 2022
Whereas a more laser-focus account of the Anslinger-Holiday conflict might've been a unique approach, Daniel's film resolves to deliver a familiar package, conforming to the standard biographical structure.
Sep 13, 2021
Explicit to the point of being lurid, there is something to admire about Lee Daniels' overwrought version of history.
Jun 17, 2021
This loving portrait sheds little new light on the star, but is compelling nonetheless.
Jun 11, 2021
[Day] captures Holiday on and off screen and holds us with each gaze, particularly through the full performance of 'Strange Fruit'.
Jun 5, 2021
Even if Billie retains a linear and relatively conventional structure, and probably isn't as ambitious as it could be, one might still qualify its efforts as strangely fruitful.
Jun 5, 2021
Andra Day outclasses and saves an otherwise humdrum movie.
May 30, 2021
In spite of good intentions and a surprisingly great debut performance by Andra Day, the film is uninspiring, poorly written and so confused with itself that it never really wakes up.
May 17, 2021
Splendid characterization by debutant Andra Day. [Full review in Spanish]
May 12, 2021
The movie bearing her name settles for a bullet-pointed, sub-Wikipedia approach to Billie Holiday, a fascinating, complex and contradictory soul who was so far ahead of her time it truly boggles the mind.
May 5, 2021
Andra Day's soulful performance is the lone reason to watch this otherwise middling biopic.
May 3, 2021
Even when the feature itself becomes unfocused, including through Daniels' erratic stylistic flourishes, Day is simply mesmerising.
May 2, 2021
Andra Day is spellbindingly good as the jazz legend whose anti-racist song "Strange Fruit" made her an enemy of the racist U.S. government, but the film built around her isn't worthy.
Apr 30, 2021
Day's Billie Holiday is intensely studied by Daniels and by cinematographer Andrew Dunn. Day meets the challenge of their scrutiny, with a debilitating intensity and glamour, and a sweet gravelly voice that is her own and the original's.
Apr 25, 2021
Watching the film it kinda reminded me of Judy with Renee Zellweger in that while the film was so-so the performance by the leading actress was worthy of an Oscar.
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