Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★

Dolemite is my name, and fuckin' up motherfuckers is my game!

During the opening credits of Dolemite Is My Name, as Rudy Ray Moore shuffles around helping customers at the record store he works at, the song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" plays. The meaning is on the tin. On top of the track being about as funkadelic as a song can ever hope to be, it's about being who you are. If that isn't the perfect song to couple with the film and the spirit of the Dolemite character, I don't know what'd work better. You could say Doletmite Is My Name is a kind of biopic we've seen before, using the Ed Wood formula of portraying an outcast finding his voice, and that voice resonating with people in its own special way. (The film is even written by the same screenwriters behind Ed Wood.) You could say that, but I'd be damned if it doesn't work like a charm. What a fun and joyous experience this film is. This is maybe the best Eddie Murphy has ever been, and the rest of the cast shines with every moment and line. The recreations of scenes from Dolemite and other notable moments from the filmmaking career of Rudy Ray Moore are the highlights, yet the small moments we get with Moore and his crew I really cherished. The doubts he feels along the way, and the triumphs and failures he experiences as he makes his feature, the story of Moore is applicable to every form of the artistic experience. When you get down to it, as has been proven with the success of countless cult and even major artists around the world, it's passion and effort that shines. We as a people, white, black, polka dot, we love people who are driven and true to themselves. Even if it takes a while before what they've made is known to the masses, if you make something worthwhile, people will find it, and they will love it for what it is. A very strong recommendation, and just after seeing it get a Golden Globe nomination, I can tell you it’s more than earned. Dolemite Is My Name, above being one of the funniest features of the year, is a testament to the importance of filmmaking, storytelling, and representation. Tell the stories you want to tell. To Rudy and all of his friends, thank you for fucking up motherfuckers 'till the day you died.

8/10

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