Hulu has released the first trailer for their potential Oscar contender, The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Billie Holiday was one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. The trailer indicates that the movie will explore her songs, specifically one of her most famous songs, “Strange Fruit.”
But the movie will also explore her drug addiction and the subsequent trial due to said addiction, her time in prison, her relationships with men and women, and one of her most successful concerts in Carnegie Hall.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday vs. Critics
With Hulu having acquired The United States vs. Billie Holiday from Paramount Pictures, a fact which was ironically reported on just days ago, the streaming platform has just released the first trailer for the film. You can see the official trailer below:
Based on Johann Hari’s novel, with a screenplay by acclaimed playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Lee Daniels, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday has a lot of pedigree and prestige behind it. The story follows Holiday’s rise to fame just as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics as a way to silence her voice in Black American activism. The undercover sting operation against her is led by Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight), with whom she previously had an affair.
While Andra Day looks to deliver a powerhouse performance, the movie unfortunately may be biting off more than it can chew. It clearly tackles a lot of important themes, but that leads to the fear that it can’t fully explore everything and will instead be drowned in all its topics.
Early reactions dropped the same day as the trailer, and they sadly appear to confirm these fears. Andra Day’s performance has been hailed as incredible, and might even be a real contender in the “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” category, but critics feel that the rest of the movie does her a disservice by being mediocre.
However, that doesn’t mean it can’t break into other Academy Award categories, such as Production Design, Costumes, or Make-Up and Hairstyling. It just might not be live up to the high expectations that its cast and creative team would generate.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday will be released on Hulu on February 26, 2021.
What do you guys think? Did you like the trailer? Are you excited for the movie? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Twitter.