For those who may not know the King of Cool, Miles Davis was one of the most influential musicians of all time. He constantly detested being labeled a 'jazz musician' and attempted throughout his career to stay far away from a traditional label for what his music sounded like. He was infinitely cool, accentuated by his raspy, near-whisper voice, and always struggled with his addictions to many vices. Now his story is headed for the silver screen, with his own biopic, Miles Ahead; and, after months of waiting, the first trailer has been released for this eccentric film.
Don Cheadle's feature directorial debut, Miles Ahead, looks to eradicate the un-cool label of music biopics by adapting a film from the life of Miles Davis. With partial funds raised by Kickstarter, Cheadle made the film with the blessing from the Davis Estate, and away from the big studios to make a film on his own terms. With a new trailer released two days ago, it's clear Cheadle is attempting a film quite different from every other music biography movie:
Typically, musician's biopics are filled with melodrama and 'best-off' moments from the artists' careers, such as Ray or The Runaways. Miles Ahead makes Miles more of a character stuck in his own '70s noir story a-la Inherent Vice; Appropriate for Cheadle, who is a Paul Thomas Anderson alumni. What's all the more striking is how much Cheadle looks and sounds exactly like Miles. The performance seems to be worth the price of admission alone.
However, passion projects for filmmakers are never always a slam dunk. Last Temptation of Christ, Heaven's Gate, The Fountain, and Prometheus all come to mind when thinking of projects that are underwhelming, despite the importance they had to their writer/directors. I think the difference here comes from how of those four films mentioned, Miles Ahead seems to be the most accessible to its audience in terms of subject matter.
Based on the hilarious headlines of reviews, the film sounds absolutely bonkers in all the right ways. The trailer already has the mafia, car chases, shoot-outs and the sweet sounds of Miles' incredible music.
Don't let the probable mixed reviews sway you. If you're a fan of movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or the work of Paul Thomas Anderson, get ready to meet the legend of cool.