Chadwick Boseman

Netflix

Our film critic Harlan Jacobson got the Blues this Christmas by dropping in on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the new film based on an August Wilson play from 1984.

The film is produced by Netflix, which is in the holiday audience and Oscar hunt.  

HJ: Just the sound of the title, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, as it rolls off the tongue, promises some kind of lusty commitment to a life of defiance, like we’re in for a wild ride in a convertible careening out of control. 

Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

DD: Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, doesn’t work on Labor Day has always graced us with his annual Labor Day Address to the Nation to explain why he doesn’t work on Labor Day.

Things are different this year right Harlan?

Black Panther
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

The good guys, the bad guys, the good women, the bad women and the missing link in the form of a long, lost son who lays claim to the throne of the fictional, all black Central African, Brigadoon-style republic of Wakanda, are all black.

An all black super hero movie? That’s great—if you’re 13. It’s even great if you’re 8 and have figured out how to sneak into a PG-13 film. And no review should tamper with how those age groups see the film. In fact, I’d say it will do any and all kids good to see Black Panther.