The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Rating: 2 out of 5.

You stupid bitches aint got shit on me. Suck my black ass

While the source material to make an incredible biopic of Billie Holiday was absolutely available, the filmmaker came up short. It’s beyond me how this story could be told so poorly. I was not familiar with Andra Day’s work prior to this role, but I sure as hell am now. Her performance carries the film through its rapid paced/long winded plot and poorly shot scenes. She all but becomes Billie Holiday. The voice, the look, the attitude. It’s a shame this fantastic portrayal of an icon was wasted on such a poorly executed film. It’s hard for me to suggest that you watch this movie, but if you’re a fan of Billie Holiday at all, it’s worth sitting through to see Andra Day bring her to life.

While I was disappointed with the film, black stories like Billie Holiday’s need to be told to continue to shine a light on the systemic racism that has plagued the US for far too long. “Strange Fruit” is the song of the 20th century, and though the film could have done a much better job, it does show you how powerful one song can be.

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