Jason's Review of The United States vs. Billie Holiday 2021 ★★½


Watched Mar 06, 2021

Andra Day is excellent, and it sure doesn’t hurt that her singing voice already sounds uncannily like the great Lady Day’s.

This is an important story, but Lee Daniels’s campy melodrama approach is all wrong for the material, making it look and feel like a tacky TV movie or an R-rated daytime soap most of the time, and the dialogue is often really bad.

There are a couple of strong sequences (especially the one leading up to and including a stunning performance of the still-incredibly-powerful-and-disturbing “Strange Fruit” a little past the halfway point), but for the most part Day’s lead performance is the only reason to watch this. You can decide if it was worth it!

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