Meet the “Real” Ma Rainey of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Whatever Oscar dreams Netflix has for “Mank” (meh) or “Dave Five Bloods” (You’re kidding, right?), they’re pulling out all the stops for George C. Wolfe’s film of August Wilson’s most accessible play.

There’s a doc on the making of the film, featuring Denzel Washington’s (star of the film of Wilson’s “Fences”) role getting it on the screen. Another documentary about schoolkids learning Wilson monologues for a national competition is also on the streaming service.

This featurette? It’s on Youtube. Rainey is such a rich, layered and theatrical character in the play that it’s easy to forget that she’s the “real” character here. A good piece to watch, before or after seeing “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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