Given the miseries of James Brown’s childhood, Taylor’s biopic of the King of Soul could suffer from comparisons to Ray as another story that pits musical genius against personal commitment issues. The editing is slightly piecemeal and the Civil Rights ruminations a little strained, but you’ll tend to overlook it as newcomer Boseman fills some very tight trousers in brilliantly re-imagined concerts (including 1962 at the Apollo), stoking the aura of a man who’s made generations feel good.
Get on Up | Directed by Tate Taylor (USA 2014) with Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis. Starts October 9.
Originally published in issue #131, October 2014.