Miles Ahead

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Directed by Don Cheadle

Mar 30, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice
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Don Cheadle directs, co-writes and stars in this charming but ultimately messy biopic of musician Miles Davis. The film hops between various stages of his career, threaded together by an action film-esque sequence with Ewan McGregor as a Rolling Stone writer-turned-sidekick. It’s commendable that Cheadle, in his directorial debut, eschews the traditional biographical route, indeed pacing the film more like jazz. Only a few of these transitions pay off, however. A lot of time is covered in Miles Ahead but nothing is explored in any detail.

Acting-wise, Cheadle is a delight as the confrontational, uber-confident Davis. He sinks into the role of living legend naturally, disdaining those he deems frauds, dismissing sycophantic fans and dispensing sage advice about music and life. We learn about his drug abuse and briefly touch on his medical problems but never see much of what’s making Miles tick. We hardly get to know the other characters, particularly his dancer wife (Emayatzy Corinealdi), at all.

Music is the true highlight of Miles Ahead and for the price of a ticket you could buy one of Davis’ records instead.

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Author rating: 5.5/10

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