Lady Sings the Blues (1972)


“Ain’t it a shame how some of God’s children have it so easy, while others have it so hard?” – Mrs. Edson

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Biopic of singer Billie Holiday as she struggled to find fame as a Jazz singer.

My Take on it – This is yet another film in the quickly shortening list of movies that I have come across during my quest to watch al Oscar nominated performances that I had never heard of beforehand.

I was intrigued by the idea of a biopic of Billie Holiday starring Diana Ross.

Ross is superb in the lead role here and I completely can understand how she could get an Oscar nominatin for her work here.

Unfortunately, besides her performance, this film has very little going for it.

The story is long and drawn out and doesn’t go anywhere really interesting along the way.

The pacing is extremely slow and it takes so long for everything to actual happen.

They present things in a very uninteresting way which makes it even more difficult to care what will happen to the characters or the situations they find themselves in.

The supporting cast is quite talented yet they aren’t given enough to do and more importantly, none of them are developed well enough and they all seem like stereotypical caricatures instead of well formed characters.

Great seeing Richard Pryor and Billy Dee Williams in this film, but unfortunately, neither is able to help make this any more watchable.

Bottom Line – Really long and drawn out biography that is accentuated by a great performance by Ross in the lead role.  The story moves along at a really slow pace and fails to come across as being coherent enough with what it tries to tell. The way that things are presented just isn’t interesting enough to really care about what happens. The characters aren’t developed well enough besides the lead role and they all come across feeling like stereotypical caricatures of these kind of films. Supporting cast is great even if they don’t manage to be poignant enough.  Pryor and Williams stand out among them. Ross was able to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work in this film.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Diana Ross, Richard Pryor personally instructed her on how to behave during the scenes of drug use. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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2 thoughts on “Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

  1. Ross was considered a front-runner to win the Oscar for this film (she was excellent), but she may have over-campaigned. Rumor ws thatvoters thought so and she may have lost crucial votes because of it and cost herself the win.

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  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1972 | MovieRob

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