You can look back over the years of this Miles Davis website and find plenty of blog posts about my desire to see a cradle-to-grave blueprint for the story of Miles Davis. With the talented Don Cheadle in the director’s chair, and in the starring role, this Hollywood-ized style of movie-making was not to be. To be honest, I was just happy something was going to make it to the big screen. I just felt that a traditional bio-pic might allow for a broader story, which might help appeal to a wider audience.
But that doesn’t mean I am not on board with what Cheadle has delivered.
I have not seen the film, so all I can do is check the reviews that are trickling in following the premiere of “Miles Ahead” this past weekend in New York at the New York Film Festival.
Looking over seven or eight reviews online it seems the film is getting mostly (very) positive comments from the critics.
Still, my favorite comment so far is from Matt Patches in his Esquire.com review:
Miles Ahead is the rare biopic in need of Hollywood’s “cradle to grave” blueprints. By scrapping Davis’ origin story—picking up his first trumpet, finding his sound, abandoning the culture around him—the film simply insists upon importance. The music never speaks for itself.
I am very excited to see a film about Miles Davis make it to the big screen. It might not be what I had in mind as I put together in my mind the pieces of a biopic about the jazz legend. But kudos to Cheadle and his team for staying true to the vision they designed for the film. Nothing is perfect and not everyone is going to get on board with the ‘caper’ element built into the story, but it still looks very enjoyable.
Look, I still think a 4-part miniseries on PBS would do the trick by covering the trumpeter’s life and times from start to finish. But I am so pleased to see the final piece of a puzzle I started writing about way back in 2007 finally come together.