The United States Vs Billie Holiday is a powerful biopic film that’s tragic yet unforgettable.
Billie Holiday is strong, beautiful and black. There’s no doubt that Billie Holiday was a talented jazz singer from the 1940s. However, she had a troubled past with a drinking and drug problem.
Strange Fruit becomes a forbidden song by the government, so she begins to be targeted by the Feds. The lynching subject matter is heavy.
Billie is caught with drugs, so she’s sent to jail. Here she cleans up her life but it only lasts a short while, as a result, her singing license is revoked. She finds the drugs take the edge off when she’s performing on stage – which becomes a dangerous slippery slope.
There are aspects of her life that are hard to watch. The bad relationships with men who take her money and who are rough. The bandmates want to be paid but like to party.
This film shifts around the timeline, so at times it’s a little confusing.
Overall, The United States Vs Billie Holiday leaves you feeling her life was a two-sided battle. At times, it is a difficult film to watch. I would have preferred a more positive spin on this amazing woman’s life.
The United States Vs Billie Holiday is in Australian cinemas from 22 April 2021.
About The United States Vs Billie Holiday
The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe.
Beginning in the 1940’s in New York City, the federal government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart wrenching ballad, “Strange Fruit.”
Led by Oscar® nominated director Lee Daniels and introducing Grammy® nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life.
Following Andra Day’s Academy Award nomination for BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE. And her recent Golden Globe win for BEST ACTRESS in a MOTION PICTURE (Drama)
Photo credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved. Andra Day stars in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida.