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Two viewings in three days, to fully appreciate the magnificent
achievement that's on screen. Not one extraneous word, scene, shot or
sequence. The whole is as tight as James Brown's hits - or his pants.
The underlying construction of these snapshots of James Brown's life is
flawless. Far from being haphazard or out-of-sequence for mere
"effect," this non- linear storytelling technique has rarely been used
with greater impact. Thankfully, Tate Tayler, Mick Jagger, the other
producers and writers, decided AGAINST the boring born-in-a-shack and
then this happened, and next that happened, and finally he died
Result? The film has unexpected rhythms that never let go and build to
the astonishing, electrifying re-creation of Brown's Paris concert that
- even on second viewing - had me jumping out of my seat, fist-pumping
the air and screaming, "YES!"
I wasn't alone.
Chadwick Boseman may be the black male Meryl Streep. His technical
achievements alone are remarkable: Brown's moves, speech rhythms and
timbre - but mainly his lip-syncing to Brown's vocals: flawless!
Even in the final moments, as the aged Brown silences his band, then
begins the haunting "Try Me" a capella - in a closeup so tight you
practically see Boseman's tonsils, his mouth, tongue placement,
breathing and facial emotions are so perfectly and intensely aligned
with Brown's voice you'd swear Boseman were doing his own signing.
But Boseman is equally true portraying Brown at any age, any stage,
from any distance. You can't fake that level of acting proficiency.
Whether he wins best actor, he is certain to (deservedly) be nominated.
Boseman'surrounded by an equally perfect cast, not one of whom rings
false: ultimately a tribute to the director - stunningly supported by
the script, cinematography and editing.
By comparison, Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" looks exactly like what
it is: a tired, clichéd jukebox Broadway musical with great old safe,
whitebread hits (distinguished mainly by Frankie Valli's falsetto) and
nothing else to write home about.
James Brown, on the other hand, was always in your face. So were (are)
Mick Jagger and the Stones. And so, rightly, is "Get On Up" as a
rousing cinematic experience that has to be seen to be believed.
Tags for Get On Up Full Movie
, Dan Aykroyd
, Nelsan Ellis
, Viola Davis
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