#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – Follows Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she has a tumultuous affair.
Plot: Billie Holiday spent much of her career being adored by fans. In the 1940’s, the government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial ballad, “Strange Fruit.”
Smart Tags: #jazz_singer #racism #based_on_true_story #lynching #male_nudity #male_rear_nudity #female_nudity #nudity #lesbian_relationship #bisexual #lesbian_interest #bisexual_interest #lgbt_interest #lesbian_affair #undercover #substance_abuse #war_on_drugs #segregation #heroin #censorship #civil_rights
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Even though I love listening to jazz, I’ve never been to a concert or a club specific to this type of music. Following this train of thought, I didn’t know anything about Billie Holiday’s real-life story and her tremendous impact not only in the respective musical genre but also in the fight against the government concerning the evil, shameful act of lynching – which shockingly still occurs today in some countries. Strange Fruit, a poem written by Abel Meeropol, became incredibly controversial due to its brutal lyrics describing the said act, comparing the victim to the fruit of trees. The adapted song has been referenced as the beginning of the civil rights movement, and Andra Day’s performance is the standout of a quite disappointing film.
I just watched The Mauritanian – a movie “based on true events” – earlier this week, and I wrote in its review that I’m almost always captivated by the main story in this type of film, even if the rest doesn’t quite hold up. The United States vs. Billie Holiday is a biographical movie inspired by the singer’s life, but besides Day’s powerful display and memorable music, I struggle to find any other positively relevant aspects. Daniel T. Dorrance’s fabulous production design is hard to ignore, as is Kris Bowers’ attention-grabbing score. However, these two rarely compensate for the jumbled editing (Jay Rabinowitz), untidy screenplay (Suzan-Lori Parks), and even Lee Daniels’ erratic direction.
From the awkward, swift transitions to black-and-white and back to color to the lack of connection between cuts and even storylines, it’s incredibly hard to feel captivated by such a visually confusing film. Suzan-Lori Parks’ script enters a monotonous, repetitive cycle of depicting Billie Holiday heavily smoking and taking drugs, followed by singing a full song and having sex with a random man, all while trying countless times to stop her bad habits. On one hand, Billie Holiday is a strong, proud Black woman who’s trying to fight for what’s right through her beautiful singing voice and astonishing tenacity. On the other hand, the viewers have to endure numerous sequences of despicable behavior from someone who doesn’t look like a good influence at all.
I understand that a protagonist doesn’t have to be perfect, much on the contrary. Nevertheless, the narrative structure is so incoherent and raises so many moral questions regarding the true essence of the main character that I couldn’t help but feel disengaged from her story. The only interesting moments are the musical performances which might be the only storytelling detail that works as a connecting point to what comes next or as a reference to what happened just before. Every other scene is seemingly detached from the next one, and Lee Daniels struggles to find the right path. The only storytelling component well-developed from beginning to end is the successful build-up to the performance of Strange Fruit.
In the end, Andra Day is the savior of what could have been a massive disaster. Her interpretation is one of the most impressive debut performances I’ve seen in the last few years. Ignoring her indisputably fantastic singing voice, Day shows a remarkable emotional range and a physical commitment to the role that not many actresses are capable of. She outshines every single element in the movie, including the remaining cast. Day is the only reason why I kept getting “dragged” to the screen. Sadly, one person isn’t enough to overcome dozens of significant issues.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday could have been an inspirational, impactful story about Billie Holiday’s influence not only in jazz music but mainly in the fight for equal civil rights. Instead, Lee Daniels’ inconsistent direction and Suzan-Lori Parks’ extremely messy screenplay are just two of many issues that transform this film into an absolute letdown. From the awful editing that detaches almost every storyline from each other to the questionable storytelling decisions regarding the repetitive, tiresome narrative structure, it becomes surprisingly difficult to fully support the protagonist’s behavior. Neat production design and engaging score, but it’s Andra Day’s phenomenal debut performance that saves a potential trainwreck. Her music and acting display are the two key elements that keep the movie above water. I can’t properly recommend it unless there’s a personal interest in the main character’s life.
Jazz musician Billie Holiday is a legend; one of the greatest musicians of all time. Most music fans can name their favorite Holiday tune, but none caused more controversy than her song about black lynching, “Strange Fruit.” Screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks builds her story (based on the novel by Johann Hari) around the song, one that many people claimed had un-American lyrics and provoked people “in the wrong way.”
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” is a film about racial injustice and censorship surrounding a stirring work of art that gave power to the woman who sang it, as well as the people who heard it. It was a song that ultimately led to events that ruined Holiday’s life.
If you are unfamiliar with “Strange Fruit,” it would be beneficial to give it a listen before watching this film. Most of the story is based on the song, which provides a means for director Lee Daniels to start with a focused, small story and build on his larger narrative. You can’t escape the fact that this is yet another tragic artist movie where a once-in-a-lifetime talent destroys her life with drugs, booze, and poor choices. But what makes this more interesting is that Holiday (Andra Day) actually became an enemy of the United States government because of that one haunting song.
Led by Harry Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund), the Federal Bureau of Narcotics painted a big target on the jazz musician’s back, using her illegal drug addiction as an excuse to barge through the door to complete their real mission: censorship of an African-American artist.
This is an interesting and important story of black America that needs to be unwrapped from our country’s history. It’s fantastic that more stories like this are being told, especially true events that have been long buried in popular culture. Daniels is the perfect choice to handle this biopic, and he adds some nice directorial choices and touches that stay true to his creative vision for the material.
Daniels doesn’t shy away from the less idealized parts of Holiday’s life, including the heroin use and alcohol abuse that tragically ended her life at 44, and her rocky relationship with Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), the man who targeted her with an undercover sting operation. The scenes of drug use and the aftermath of a quick high become so repetitive in the film’s last half, which is a shame because all this rambling amplifies the movie’s imperfections. It’s too long, too.
Jazz fans will love that the film features plenty of Holiday’s classic music, and the period set designs and costumes are astonishing on every level. Day fully steps into the shoes of a tortured artist, and she mimics Holiday’s mannerisms and stage presence very well.
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” is not an inspirational biopic, but it’s an intimate portrait of brilliant and gifted jazz singer who was tragically brought down by fame, addiction, the ghosts of her past, and the U.S. government.
Lady Day vs Fake History
Lady Day deserves much better than this muddled, often tedious and substantially apocryphal “biopic” from Lee Daniels. In this telling of Billie Holiday’s life the song Strange Fruit becomes central to the narrative, with government forces determined to stop her singing the mournful lament, afraid that it will ignite a civil rights movement. At one point she’s even dragged from the stage after singing just the first few lines. The problem with all of this is it never happened. Federal Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger apparently claimed in letters that he “asked” holiday not to sing the song, but – even if that’s true – that’s about as far as it went. Holiday was never dragged off stage for singing the song; in fact, she sang the song in the very concert in which the film depicts this as happening. In any case, the civil rights movement was already a growing force long before Strange Fruit became a popular protest song. As for Billie, she was never especially political and was initially ambivalent about performing Strange Fruit. She was convinced more by the way it would be dramatically staged as a final number than by any notions about the political clout of the lyrics. So to make the song central to her life and have Billie so passionate about performing it any cost is in itself dishonest. But then so much of Daniels’ film, from the weird Quentin Crisp-like Reginald Lord Divine character who interviews Billie (he never existed) to the romantic affair with FBI agent Jimmy Fletcher, for which there is zero evidence. At best the film offers brief glimpses into the reality of Billie’s life, but they’re so swamped with apocrypha that you’ll have trouble identifying them. Which makes this a pretty messed up biopic, and an extremely half-assed tribute to the great singer. The only saving grace in all of this is Andra Day, who manages to look and sound like Billie for the most part. But even here there are caveats. Day’s performances of Holiday’s songs are more impressive as vocal impressions than they are for evoking the emotion and pathos that made Billie legendary. And, sad to say, her rendition of Strange Fruit is oddly stilted, almost bland. Not to mention severely truncated. Never mind that this is the song the entire film revolves around. Strange, indeed.
Worthy of an Academy Award for Andra Davis
My Review – The United States vs Billie Holiday My Rating – 8/10
There are some fantastic Academy Award performances this year 5 great Actresses and I’ve now seen four of them Frances McDormand in Nomadland , Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman , Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and now Andra Davis in The United States vs Billie Holliday . I’ve yet to see Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman but intend to watch her movie today. I must say up until today my favourite nominated performance by an Actress in a film is Carey Mulligan but today I’ve changed my mind because Andra Davis is mesmerising as Billie Holiday. Almost 50 years after Diana Ross earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in 1972’s “Lady Sings the Blues” this new film that centres around the origin of the song that Billie Holiday sang titled “Strange Fruit.” which is now included in the Top 100 American songs list. Harry Anslinger a known racist ,played in the movie so well by Garrett Hedland forbids Billie Holiday to perform “Strange Fruit,” because he didn’t want it’s painful message of racial hate to be heard by Billie’s audiences. Of course Billie refuses causing him to devise a plan to destroy her. Knowing that Holiday was a drug user. He assigns Federal Bureau of Narcotics, federal agent Jimmy Fletcher ( Trevante Rhodes) to bust her for heroin possession and he ends up falling for her. Billie Holiday popularised the song “Strange Fruit” and turned it into a work of art, but it was a Jewish communist teacher and civil rights activist from the Bronx, Abel Meeropol, who wrote it, first as a poem, then later as a song. Abel Meeropol’s inspiration for the song from a 1930 photo that captured the lynching of two Black men in Indiana. The visceral image haunted him for days and prompted him to put pen to paper. The Star of the 1972 movie about Billie Holliday “Lady Sings the Blues “Diana Ross’s son Evan Ross plays a federal agent in Lee Daniels’ new movie about the late singer. his mom, Diana Ross, earned an Oscar nom for her portrayal of Billie Holiday she lost that year to Liza Minneli in Cabaret. Now, Evan says his mother approves of the latest telling of the Holiday story. “She loves Lee, and she thought it was cinematically amazing. She thought the performances were amazing.” Everything you see and hear in the movie is 100% Andra Davis who sings many Billie’s classic songs herself . The closing song a full performance of “Strange Fruit” is one of those moments like Barbra Streisand singing My Man in “Funny Girl “that I thought ,yes ! that is a performance that could win you an Oscar ,so much feeling and emotional output. Andra’s preparation for this taxing role including smoking, drinking, and screaming which gave her voice the “gravel and grit” that the blues singer was known for. “Anything I’d do to take care of my voice as a singer, I did the opposite,” she said. One of the most interesting plot lines concerning Billie Holliday that I wasn’t aware of in “Lady Sings the Blues “was Billie’s bi sexuality and her long affair with Tallulah Bankhead played in this film by Natasha Leon. My film companion and I discussed the similarities between Bessie Smith . Ma Rainey , Billie and also Judy Garland. All these great singers had violent and abusive relationships with men that held power over “their”women and used them as a meal ticket and to boost their ego. So why wouldn’t they look for affection and gentleness in their women friends who just valued them for themselves. The second great similarity was that all these women were addicts and died in their 40’s except Ma Rainey who lived a little longer at 53 years old , they all burnt out far too early leaving their legacy of music behind them for audiences to enjoy. The intimate friendship between dissolute husky-voiced first lady of the American stage Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) and the great doomed jazz chanteuse Billie Holiday (1915-1959) spanned at least two decades – from the golden age of 1930s Harlem cafe society until the mid-1950. In 1948, Tallulah Bankhead used to watch Holiday’s closing set every night of her run performing with Count Basie. She also accompanied Holiday on her own tours whenever she could. “Tally and Lady were like sisters,” as one observer put it. Fierce, stylish sisters with a tinge of incest, apparently. Stories of Judy Garland frequenting female partners are perhaps more than fanciful Hollywood recitals; most famously, she was linked to Betty Asher, an MGM publicity worker and close friend of the starlet. Betty Asher, to become Judy’s confidante, her bosom buddy, and to steer her away from Artie Shaw. Betty did much more than that. She became Judy’s lover as well (and Shaw’s, too, for that matter). I love both the Billy Holiday films Lady Sings the Blues and The United States vs Billie Holliday but I think if I was awarding an Oscar for the most honest and convincing portrayal of who many still say was the Worlds greatest jazz artist I would pick Andre Davis and I wish her luck this year ,I’d be also very happy to see Carey Mulligan win for Promising Young Woman. The great costumes by Paolo Nieddu make up ,set decoration and production excellence in The United States vs Billie Holliday are obvious from the opening titles Lee Daniels has directed a fine film.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr 6 min (126 min)
Genre Biography, Drama, Music
Director Lee Daniels
Writer Suzan-Lori Parks, Johann Hari
Actors Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 1 Oscar. 8 wins & 20 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1 (some scenes), 2.39 : 1
Camera Bolex H16 (some scenes), Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision C- and E-Series Lenses
Laboratory Company 3, Los Angeles (CA), USA (digital intermediate)
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 16 mm (Kodak Vision3 500T 7219), 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (4K) (master format), Panavision (anamorphic) (source format), Spherical (16 mm footage) (source format) (some scenes)
Printed Film Format D-Cinema, Video (UHD)