Director: Lee Daniels
Cast: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, LaKeith Stanfield, Garrett Hedlund
Genre: Drama, Biopic
Runtime: 2h 10m
Rotten Tomatoes: 57% (Critics), NA% (Audience)
If you’re not a fan of Holiday’s music it’s because you’ve never heard Holiday’s music. Thankfully, redemption has just arrived via Hulu. Even as one of the 1930s most celebrated voices, Billie Holiday (Andra Day), a Black American, was not immune to the plight of those who shared her complexion. Using her fame, she decided to make a difference with her song “Strange Fruit.” Likening the experience of southern Black American’s lives to crops which could be plucked, hung, or strewn by the wayside, Holiday propelled the horrors of lynching to the forefront of America’s collective conscious, and herself onto the FBI’s list of people they deemed a threat to the status quo. Long thought by many to have died another wasted talent from self-harm, The United States vs. Billie Holiday tells Lady Day’s story in hopes of righting those wrongs and exposing her downfall for what it really was—a teardown.