Netflix has pitched its upcoming film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for the Best Picture Award at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Directed by George C Wolfe, the film features Viola Davis as Ma Rainey along with Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, and Michael Potts. The film is an adaptation of August Wilson’s play by the same name.
The film marks the last performance of late Black Panther actor, Boseman, who died of cancer in August. Boseman is also Netflix’s contender for the Best Actor in the Lead Role (Male) category for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Oscars. He also features in Da 5 Bloods directed by Spike Lee.
The streaming platform also has the actor contending at the Gotham Awards 2020 for the Best Actor award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Boseman was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016 and is the first person to have two posthumous acting nominations during the same year.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom revolves around the title character, Ma Rainey, who is one of the first generation Blues singers to record. Produced by Todd Black, Denzel Washington, and Dany Wolf, the film’s screenwriter is Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
According to Variety, Boseman portrays Ma’s band member Levee, an ambitious trumpeter who aspired to make his own mark in the Chicago music scene by putting a contemporary spin on old-fashioned songs.
Blues is a musical form that was introduced by the African-Americans with roots in African musical traditions. It includes spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom of 1927, is one of the hundred recordings that she made. Set in Chicago, the musicians grapple with issues of race, music, relationships, and the exploitation of black music artists.
While the film will have a theatrical release in selected places in November, it will have a worldwide release on Netflix on December 18.