THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund
Plot: An undercover drug agent gets too close to Billie Holiday during a sting operation
Clint Says: Wait for the streaming price to come down
(Streaming exclusively on Hulu)
If you are unaware of Billie Holiday, I highly encourage you to do some research into her life and legacy. She is nothing short of a national treasure, but she also had to deal with many demons in her life. Many of those demons were forced on her by some of the terrible people that surrounded her, some of the demons were self-inflicted.
This film centers around one of her most powerful songs and how the U.S. Government went after her to try to stop her from singing it. If you have never heard "Strange Fruit," you should give it a listen. It makes perfect sense why this was a black anthem, and why the 1940s Government wanted to get rid of it and Miss Holiday.
Based on all of this, one would think this would be a very dynamic and suspenseful film. Unfortunately, it is nearly the opposite. It is slow, drawn out, and flat. That doesn't mean the film is all bad. It has several incredible moments. But overall, it lacks intensity.
Andra Day does a nice job playing Miss Holiday, and her voice is simply stunning, but the script she has to work with doesn't lend itself to a compelling character arc. It's really too bad, because this story could have been something special.
This is a good movie, but not one worth paying premium pricing to see. Wait until it is available to stream for free. You'll be happy with your choice once you see it.