Reviewing New York Times co-chief critic A O Scott praised Boseman’s potent performance as “definitive,” and other critics singled it out as the best of Boseman’s career. The film, which Scott named a critic’s pick, was directed by George C Wolfe and adapted from August Wilson’s play.
The drama tells the story of Rainey, a pioneering blues singer of the title played by Viola Davis (who was nominated for best actress in a movie drama), and her battle to protect her gift — her voice — from exploitation by the white-owned record label. When Boseman’s trumpeter, an ambitious upstart named Levee, wants to play a song his way, a clash of egos ensues.
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