Where I Watched It: Netflix
Audio Description Provided By: Post haste
Written By: William McDonaugh
Narrated By: Laura Post
We’ve seen so many stories about aspiring singers over the years, it’s become kind of impossible to do anything different. Yet, Lena Waithe tried to inject something different into this exhausting formula, but she just misses the mark. Really, everyone does.
The film centers around a young girl who lives at home with her parents, learning how to sing from her mom (a pretty solid Niecy Nash), and elevating her career much to the delight of her typically evil, overbearing, and greedy father (a wonderful Giancarlo Esposito).
What changes this film is that our singer, Beauty, is in love with a girl. Someone thinks that’s enough to reinvent this wheel. It’s not. There’s some frank discussion about how black artists are treated and marketed, but again, that’s not necessarily new territory either. Beauty is just a rather dull retread that hits the same beats, just very lethargically.
The saving grace here is also a film killer. Giancarlo Esposito is on another level. He’s even beyond Stone and Nash. He’s outacting everyone in every scene. He’s so used to playing this type of character now, that he’s a walking masterclass in being the bad guy. Because of that, he always draws attention, and he makes every scene feel like these no name actors standing around him are just in awe of his presence. Like, they’re here for some learning, not to make a film. His acting saves the film from being totally forgettable, but he also makes his cast look dull by comparison.
If Esposito managed awards nominations for this, I wouldn’t be mad. The film isn’t very good, but he’s terrific.
The Blind Perspective: I’m not familiar with Post Haste, but they managed to put out decent description for me to follow. I’m not sure what I would have wanted more of, or put a focus on, since this film is so flat and lifeless. Beauty almost never sings, so it doesn’t feel like that type of film. Somehow, it just feels like a statement about love between two women being complicated wrapped in in a ton of crap that doesn’t matter. But whatever this is, it’s an uninspiring film with competent narration.
Final Thoughts: Even with Esposito’s performance, I’d say pass on this. And it’s not about culture, or that I didn’t get it because I’m a guy, it’s just that this film is really boring. It doesn’t go anywhere, and most of it’s cast showed up dead on arrival.
Final Grade: C-