The Miles Davis Movie: What are your expectations?

milesdavis2.jpg For me, I’ll say high, very high.


I want the Miles Davis movie to be a classic. I want the film to be a critical success as well as a box office champ. No, we’re not talking “Dark Knight” numbers, but solid box office in the U.S. and abroad.

I want Don Cheadle to be nominated for an Oscar. I want the film to be nominated in multiple categories.

I have set my expectations high for the acting, directing and writing, the lighting and costume design, the cinematography and the damn catering table.

I want to see photos and video clips of Miles Davis splashed across TV and computer screens. I want to see respectable magazines run profound essays on the legacy of Miles Davis and his impact on culture in America.

I want to see his record sales get even better. I want to see iTunes numbers go through the roof for Miles Davis mp3s.

I want people to be excited about the movie. I want people to be excited about jazz.

I want the Miles Davis biopic to be an Official Selection at mega film festivals in Cannes and Sundance, Toronto, Telluride and Berlin.

I want people to be excited about Miles Davis. He was part saint, part sinner, but his story is remarkable. His impact on ‘music’ is legendary.

I want to see a good review in “The New Yorker.” I want to see Don Cheadle on “Charlie Rose.”

I want the DVD to be brimming with cool extras, interesting commentary and awesome deleted scenes.

Yes, I have high expectations for the Miles Davis movie.

I’m curious to know what other Miles Davis/movie fans think. Will it make an impact – in the movie/media sense, not on the world! –, or does it come and go, lost in a sea of entertainment content?

Are you expecting greatness, or hoping it’s entertaining enough? Are you worried it’s going to be ‘a rental,’ or are you confident you’ll have to see more than once (like that same day!)?

Is there a broad enough audience for the film? Would it be better as a Ken Burns documentary?

It’s just a movie. But for some (me!) it’s finally a chance to see the life of Miles Davis produced for the big screen. It’s long overdue, but no time like the present.

My expectations are high, very high. And the waiting is killing me.


2 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: What are your expectations?”

  1. I have extraordinarily high hopes for the movie as well. I think the ultimate triumph for the film would be for it to make Miles more of a mainstream icon.

    I always think of how Spike Lee appeared to feel a certain higher responsibility with the making of “Malcolm X,” that there was a need to have this story be told and told well.

    Obviously, Cheadle wants to do a great job with it, but maybe he feels something greater about Miles.

    And certainly, it’s not like Miles has faded into oblivion; on the contrary, Columbia has done a great job of reissuing and repackaging his music.

    But this movie could really vault Miles into that short list of enduring pop icons, which in no particular order would include people like The Beatles, James Dean, Sinatra, Elvis, Ray Charles, etc.

    Of course, there’s always the danger of celebrating a guy who was not exactly perfect. But as Paul McCartney once said of John Lennon: he was a great man, but part of his greatness was that he wasn’t a saint.

    I think that fits Miles, too. And at the end of the day, the reason we’re here talking about him nearly 17 years after his death is because of the music, which speaks for itself.

  2. “Malcolm X” is a great example. The film is one of my favorites — it captures most everything I hope for in a movie; interesting and entertaining.

    I’d love to see a Miles Davis film on the same scale as a “Malcolm X,” or even “Ray.” It’s hard to know how the filmmakers plan to make the film and in what budget structure. Of course, it can be an indie and be just as grand, but the finances must be factored into how they plan to put Davis’ life on screen.

    You have to believe Cheadle knows how special the project is, considering the subject. It could be a movie that is discussed with other classic biopics.

    I think the idea alone of an actor playing Miles Davis will drive plenty of attention, especially as the film builds momentum. After that it’s in the hands of the filmmakers to make it something special, which I am hopeful for.

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