Film Review: Miles Ahead

Miles Ahead

Directed by Don Cheadle 

Starring Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi

 

    Set in 1980, an era of self-induced retirement for Davis, and shortly before his Eighties comeback, the film leans heavily on the fictional adventures of Miles and the fictional ‘composite character’, Rolling Stone reporter Dave Braden, played superbly by Ewan McGregor.

    The fictional adventure story is interspersed with some breathtaking flashbacks that take you back to the days of his Great Quintets but also shine a light on his often turbulent relationship with his wife Frances Taylor. It is these scenes where Cheadle delves deepest into the psyche of Miles with some superb acting by both Cheadle and Emayatzy Corinealdi.

    Cheadle perfectly captures the cool exterior of Davis plus the deep insecurities that plagued his life and career. There are lots of engaging, music-filled, scenes such as this one.

    Maybe Cheadle tries too hard to avoid the obvious music biopic cliches but the end result is a film that is true to the spirit of Miles and is very obviously a film made by a jazz enthusiast steeped in the music and life story of one of jazz’s true legends.

    This is essentially a Miles Davis story rather than the Miles Davis story but well worth watching, both for the music and the insights into the legend.

 

Charlie Anderson

 

Miles Ahead is released in cinemas from Friday 22nd April, distributed in the UK by Icon Film Distribution.