Jazz music has been described as a bunch of people all playing different tunes at the same time but the jazz musician Miles Davis was undoubtedly a genius unlike our Editor who wondered why the musician had renamed himself Miles Ahead until it was pointed out that was the name of the film.
It’s 1979 and the world-renowned jazz musician Miles Davis is in a desperate rut. Miles hasn’t appeared publicly for six years and has not picked up a trumpet for three. His complete loss of musical inspiration, addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and chronic pain from a deteriorating hip have rendered him a virtual hermit, locked up in his wrecked Upper-West Side apartment in a deep depression. Despite all this, the record company to which Miles is signed are attempting to claim ownership of a mysterious tape in Miles’ possession, supposedly containing brand new unheard content, and they are prepared to go to great lengths to get their hands on it.
Ewan McGregor (The Phantom Menace, Trainspotting ) delivers a brilliant turn as vivacious Rolling Stone journalist Dave Braden, who catches wind of this tape and audaciously attempts to befriend Miles with the hope of securing a scoop on his comeback story. However, the murky world of the music industry soon sucks Dave into Miles’ feud with the record company and before they know it they are caught up in a chaotic, gun-toting, car chase and a bitter battle for the ownership of Miles’ music. Meanwhile, through periodic flashbacks we see how Miles’ erratic and addictive behaviour is fuelled by memories of his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer Frances Taylor, played by the mesmerising Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere, The Invitation).
Featuring a career defining performance by Oscar® nominee Don Cheadle, MILES AHEAD was developed with passion and delicate reverence for Davis’ work. Cheadle co-wrote the script and makes a remarkable directorial debut, defying the conventions of the biopic genre to deliver a real treat for film and music fans alike.
This is an engrossing film and watching Cheadle as Davis is spellbinding. This was unfairly overlooked on its release but is worth a look even if you’re not a jazz enthusiast and here’s your chance to win a copy of the film by answering the following question:
What 2005 film was Don Cheadle nominated for a best actor Oscar as a hotel manager housing refuges fleeing for their lives from militia?
a) Hotel California
b) Hotel Transylvania
c) Hotal Rwanda
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Here’s the trailer: