It's 1959 in a seedy bar in Philadelphia, and Billie Holiday is giving one of her last performances interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music 4 months before her death.
A lesbian teenager unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family. Mounting pressure from home, school, and within wears the line between her personas thin with explosive consequences.
On Easter Eve, 1991, 75-year-old Florence Holway was brutally attacked, beaten and raped in her small rural New England home. Barely surviving the attack, she vowed that she would do ... See full summary »
Born poor in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic, erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success ... See full summary »
The camera has a love affair with Queen Latifah from beginning to end in this tour de force, a performance that may have been worthy of an Oscar, let alone the Emmy she is destined to receive. The movie was co-executive produced by the late Richard Zanuck, based on a story by the late Oscar winning screenwriter Horton Foote, and their posthumous talent is impressively displayed at every level.
The screenplay was smart enough not to try and convert the audience to liking the blues, which is always an acquired taste, instead focusing on the intense drama that was this woman's personal life, from childhood traumas (i.e. being chased by her older sister with a knife), to lesbian love affairs as a grown woman. Thanks mainly to Queen Latifah's amazing performance, a basketful of Emmys should be in the future for this bold and seriously worthy TV drama.
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