Chadwick Boseman is electrifying as Godfather of Soul James Brown in daringly offbeat biopic Get on Up, which matches its subject’s brass-necked audacity with its own bold cinematic risk-taking. Director Tate Taylor (The Help) shakes up biopic conventions, flashing back and forth between Brown’s dirt-poor Georgia childhood, his rise to musical fame, the imperial pomp of his prime and his drug-addled decline, while framing the story with aspects of Brown’s own cocky myth-making. Boseman’s Brown smiles and winks at the camera, letting us know this is very much his version of events, and – lip-synching to Brown’s voice – takes the breath away with his recreations of the singer’s trademark splits, spins, slides and glides.
Certificate 12. Runtime 139 mins. Director Tate Taylor.
Get On Up is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universl Pictures UK.
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