Miles Ahead at Sundance – Movie Review

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Before the screening of MILES AHEAD at the Sundance Film Festival, actor Don Cheadle took the stage to thank his cast, producers, co-writer, investors, and above all, Miles Davis’ family for entrusting Don Cheadle with their loved one’s story.  Although one comment by Don Cheadle before the movie started put everyone on notice…  Roughly paraphrased, MILES AHEAD is not a bio-pic.  After seeing the movie, you quickly realize that you did not see a traditional bio-pic covering the life an artist, but a mere snapshot in time.  MILES AHEAD covers a 5-year period of time in Miles Davis’ life in which he hit a rut and was not creating any music.  It could have been a drug phase in which he was unproductive, or many of life’s obstacles were weighing heavily on his shoulders, or maybe all of the above.

Nevertheless, MILES AHEAD does a great job of delving into the mind of Miles Davis as wonderfully portrayed by Don Cheadle.  Ewan McGregor who plays David Brill, an independent journalist hoping that an interview with Miles Davis will get him published in Rolling Stones Magazine also does a great job and plays a central role in the story.  The lovely Emayatzy Corinealdi plays Frances Taylor, the love interest and wife of Miles Davis.

Through a spirited effort to get Miles Davis to release his latest master recordings, David Brill and Miles Davis embark on an adventure that ultimately gets Miles Davis back on track to what he did best and that is perform and create the passionate signature music he is known for.

MILES AHEAD is a story that needed to be told about this legendary artist while leaving the door open for future bio-pics.  There is no way you can truly capture the life of an extraordinary artist in a 90 minute movie and by not trying to do so, Don Cheadle paid the ultimate homage and respect to Miles Davis.

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