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Lady Sings The Blues Blu-ray Review

Diana Ross wows in “Lady Sings The Blues.”

Directed by Sidney J. Furie, “Lady Sings The Blues” is a biopic on the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday. The film chronicles her life from her youth to the latter days of her career as we see her triumphs as a singer and the dark side of her life (prostitution and drug addiction)

“THe United States Vs. Billie Holiday” may be getting all the attention now but 1972’s “Lady Sings The Blues” remains the best Billie Holiday biopic due to the Oscar nominated performance by Diana Ross (she did win the Golden Globe). Not only does Ross completely transform into Billie Holiday, but you often forget she’s playing her she’s that good. We all know Ross is a great artist on her own, but to carry a 143 minute movie in her feature length debut AND knock it out of the park is something special.

In terms of the movie itself, “Lady Sings The Blues” tends to stick to the usual biopic formula as it shows the ups and downs of its subject. Truth be told, the Chris Clark, Terence McCloy and Suzanne De Passe scripted movie does cover a lot of ground, but it focuses on the tragic aspects of her life a bit too mention (sometimes in a needlessly melodramatic fashion). The film would have benefited from focusing more on her music and career triumphs which get a bit overshadowed in the script. Still, I appreciate that the movie lets scenes play out and focuses on intimate character moments. Billie’s scenes with Louis (Billy Dee Williams) and the Piano Man (Richard Pryor) are especially noteworthy here.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? The print is fuzzy and has some damage, but it is at least an upgrade over the DVD. Don’t expect a mindblowing hi-def transfer though.

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? Too low and too soft.

Extras:
* 7 deleted scenes
* “Behind The Blues: Lady Sings The Blues”- A 23 minute extras with cast and crew interviews and discussions about the making of the project.
* Commentary by Berry Gordy, Sidney Furie and Shelly Berger.

March 6, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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