James Brown is a music legend. His music has spawned several genres and produced countless imitators.
The new biopic of his life, Get On Up is presently in theaters. Chadwick Boseman, who last year played another ground breaking icon, Jackie Robinson, in 42, takes on the role of the Godfather Of Soul. James Brown grew in Augusta, Georgia, in extremely poor circumstances. His mother, Susie Brown (Viola Davis) abandoned her son as a boy, leaving him to be raised by Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer). His rise to the top of the music scene is legendary, while his life is a mass of contradictions. He was a perfectionist performer, who doted on his family, but married several times over and was abusive to one of his wives. His manager Ben Bart (Dan Akroyd) and his best friend Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis) stand by him through the highs and lows of his life.
I’m not sure if I liked this movie. While I can foresee nominations for Davis, Boseman (who completely disappears into the part) and Ellis, the movie is a little long for my taste. As a biopic is not too over-dramatic, nor does it skip over it’s lead character’s worst qualities. But there are certain scenes that I would have left for the extras part of the DVD instead of leaving it on the theatrical release.
Do I recommend this movie? Maybe.