Sunday, January 17, 2021

‘Miles Ahead’ is Don Cheadle’s Directorial Tour de Force Debut

Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in 'Miles Ahead'
Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in ‘Miles Ahead’

“Miles Davis’ music was…kind of gangster” – Don Cheadle

*In another one of his most brilliant performances, Don Cheadle channels the ingenious music icon Miles Davis in “Miles Ahead.”

Cheadle’s spot on execution keeps audiences transfixed and they are not distracted with an Al Jolson or prosthetic controversy—a subject so prevalent in the news at this time.

It’s common knowledge by now that Davis, as he pointed out at the Film Society of Lincoln Center event, was christened with the task of bringing Miles Davis to the big screen.

“I’ve said it so many times so forgive me, when Miles was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, they were interviewing his nephew, Vincent Wilburn, who had played with Miles, if they were going to do a movie about his life and he said, ‘yeah, and Don Cheadle is going to play him.'”

“So I was not out seeking that, and it was not something that was on my bucket list that I was trying to make sure I did before I died. There was a proclamation that was made that I was going to do it. And I met with the family and they pitched me their ideas on it. But I just wanted to do something that felt like my experience of Miles Davis’ music and what I knew about his life, which was something that was expressive, expansive, impressionistic, wild, kind of gangster and just out [there].”

Don Cheadle speaking at Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Don Cheadle speaking at Film Society of Lincoln Center.

“Miles Ahead” is just that and so much more as he explained. “The thing about Miles’ music, to me, is in any of the eras that you want to select, the music’s very cinematic and it lends itself very well to the telling of a story. All the music, when I hear it, is very provocative and I go someplace with it. I see car chases, and I see love scenes, and I see slick, cool sh!t. I see…it takes me everywhere.”

The nail biting car chase and the aesthetically shot love scene with the beautiful Emayatzy Corinealdi (Frances Taylor), in addition to the portrayals, speak  volumes to Cheadle’s creds as an imposing director.

“Miles Ahead,” that also star Ewan McGregor, Keith Stanfield, and Michael Stuhlbarg, opens April 1.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at thefilmstr[email protected]      Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



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