NYFF Closing Night: “Miles Ahead” (October 10)

 Saturday night was the closing night of the 53rd New York Film Festival.

The final film was the world premiere of director/actor Don Cheadle's biopic "Miles Ahead" of jazz great Miles Davis.

The film covered a period of time in the 1970's when Miles Davis (portrayed by Don Cheadle) was reclusive, ill and drug addicted receives a visit from a reporter (played by Ewan McGregor) from Rolling Stone magazine who wants to interview him. The film takes a turn (often comedic) when a tape of new Davis recordings is stolen. So, Davis and the reporter track down the people (a young rival trumpeter and a unscrupulus music producer) who stole it.

There are flashbacks to earlier times – including with his wife Frances Taylor (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi) but, mainly the film remains in specific period.

Personally, I really liked the film.

The performances by Cheadle & McGregor are terrifc – and naturally, all of the music is great.

Plus there is a lot of humor in the movie.

As the final credits rolled, the crowd gave Cheadle and his cast a standing ovation. Clearly, it was a fan favorite of the festival.

The early reviews from film critics at the screening gave it mixed reviews. The film skips important periods of time so, it isn't really a standard biopic – which is probably what Cheadle was aiming for. But, the film doesn't really give a full portrait of the artist.

But, I think most of the movie going audiences will really like the film.

One side note disappointment for me was that I really wasn't able to get any decent pictures of the cast during the introduction.

Don Cheadle and cast members, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg (as the "bad guy" music producer), Keith Stanfield (as the up-and-coming musician that originally steals Davis' tapes) and Emayatzy Corinealdi when only briefly onstage and sadly, there was no discussion or Q&A session following the screening.

So, the pictures I have posted here (other than the publicity photo from the film) are as good as I got.

But, my not being able to get a good photo doesn't deter from it being a really enjoyable film.