Not a terrible film, but not a great one either, and Miles deserves better. This is not a full musician biopic, so it misses out on lots of the familiar ‘struggle to be excellent’ themes. Instead it focuses on the fallow period of five years when Miles wasn’t recording or performing; the earlier years are done by flashback. We see some of his early performances, and so on, as recollections. The present – the time when the film’s main narrative is taking place – is more about guns, shoot-outs, car chases and drug deals.
This means that there isn’t enough about the music; for me the best bits were where Don Cheadle is playing Miles working with other musicians. There’s nothing wrong with the acting – Cheadle acts well, and if he can’t actually play the trumpet (maybe he can?) he can certainly act trumpet playing.Ewan McGregor's fictional Rolling Stone journalist is quite good too.
Just as Miles makes his comeback and starts playing again the film ends – not before time, because it’s quite long, and the car chases got on my nerves. But I’m sorry it ended where it did, and that there wasn’t more about the creativity rather than about the tortured-ness of it all.
Watched on the cinema screen in a nearly empty Holloway Odeon.