Title: Miles Ahead
Director: Don Cheadle
Starring: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Keith Stanfield, Austin Lyon
Length: 100 minutes
Released: On digital platforms on 15th august, and on blu-ray and dvd from 22nd august, 2016
Don Cheadle is excellent as the mercurial jazz genius Miles Davis. His performance is nuanced and organic. Viewers will be able to see and feel the passion that Cheadle has put into this role. He’s always been a fine actor but this is one of his finest performances in a role that perhaps always destined to play. There have been many biopics over recent years - John Cusack playing Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. The reason for this passion and dedication is clear of course when you realise that Cheadle not only stars but also co-wrote the script and directed. Anyone actor that goes to these lengths is worthy of praise, especially the the result is as good as this.
Ewan McGregor is the (fictional) Rolling Stone journalist Dave Braden, who attempts to become friends with Miles in order to gain his trust and report the story of his possible comeback. His performance is also top rate and he works well alongside Cheadle.
The film takes us to a low point in Miles’ life. He hasn’t appeared publicly for six years and has not picked up a trumpet for three. Worse still he has a hip injury and has become addicted to painkillers, cocaine and alcohol. As the film progresses it tells us the story of a bitter battle for the ownership of Miles’ music. The film is delightfully non-linear, allowing us to jump back and forward in time to let us experience different episodes in his life. And treats us to actual recordings of his music. As we jump to different points in time we see how Miles' erratic and addictive behaviour is fuelled by memories of his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer Frances Taylor, played by Emayatzy Corinealdi.
Miles Ahead truly is miles ahead of most biopics, many of which fail to hit the mark. Miles Ahead is a powerful and compelling film.