Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin)
knows the simple secret for creating a down-and-dirty little indie
thriller: Introduce us to smart, funny characters, but don’t feel the
need to burden them with cluttered backstories.
Miles Ahead, the new film from
multi-hyphenate Don Cheadle, captures Miles Davis a little more than a decade
from his final days, but there’s a very real sense of the fragility,
both physically and psychologically, that plagued him toward the end.
Davis looks like a master of the universe
with every single piece of the American Dream bought and paid for
thanks to the exploitation of generations before him. Life — his life —
is perfect, because he gets to believe the illusion that his hard work
has made it all possible. But what does he know?
I have always appreciated the fullness of
life that I could glimpse in others, especially women of a certain age.
Experience might have been the more important characteristic. Age was
merely the obvious signal I could recognize at a glance.
Race documents the
powerful legacy of the accomplishments of Jesse Owens, the black Olympic
athlete (and Ohio native) who challenged the notion of Aryan supremacy
espoused by Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games.