Miles Ahead

It’s never a good idea to let your ex-wife make your biopic. Look what it did for Ike Turner! Starring Don Cheadle, who also directed this highly fictionalized slice of life story set during the mid-70s which saw the iconic trumpeter Miles Davis take an extended sabbatical from recording, this movie shifts around from being kinetically driven to fuzzy and unfriendly, much like most of Davis’ later music could be. When an ambitious journalist played by Ewan McGregor hopes to ingratiate himself into an interview with the jazz giant, the film we get is part Inherent Vice and part A Man Called Adam with the eccentric, reclusive Davis spun out of control when his most recent master tapes are swiped. Cheadle displays the hunch and the rasp, and the film, while playing loose with its authenticity, manages to explore the legacy. Record label mistrust fittingly trumped by spousal abuse, I get the notion that the same people who like HBO’s Vinyl will be willing participants in approving this message also. In the live footage are musicians Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. The gunfire and car chases give it a grindhouse ’70s atmosphere that isn’t really needed!