Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ★★★½

While Wilson's dialogue still sings, the film is too bound to its legacy on the stage. You almost resent that you're not 30 feet away watching these performances. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a vehicle for actors and you get two outstanding turns here.

So many people smarter than me can you what makes Chadwick Boseman's performance so special. It's apparent from the get that you're watching something so intimate and alive. It's adds an extra half star.

Viola Davis can leg out a double or a triple anytime she wants. She deserves the world. 3.5 stars.