Don Cheadle makes an impressive directorial debut with this crazy biopic that is mostly fiction but all fun.
Cheadle plays jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, hibernating from public life in the late seventies when a Rolling Stone reporter (Ewan McGregor) shows up at his door looking for a comeback story. The film then turns part comedy thriller as Davis tries to track down a missing tape from his latest sessions, something that never really happened.
It’s all just an excuse to use Miles Davis in a goofy story, and somehow it all works. Cheadle is pure awesome as Davis, even doing some impressive trumpet miming to boot (Cheadle, like Ethan Hawke in the recent Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue, learned how to play trumpet for the part).
The film switches between Miles in the seventies and Miles in the sixties dealing with relationship struggles. No, the movie doesn’t really focus much on the actual music. It’s more of a weird trip inspired by the music.
Michael Stuhlbarg is good as a shady record producer, and McGregor has a lot of fun as the shifty reporter who will do anything for a scoop. Cheadle has made a good looking, and sounding, movie to go with his strong performance. It’s not going to win any awards for accuracy, but it’s a fun movie with a Cheadle performance well worth any music lover’s time.