Favorite in the Oscar race for best actor, Chadwick Boseman unfortunately did not receive a posthumous award. The opportunity nevertheless to discover the short documentary devoted to his career.
Sunday April 25, 2021, for the second time in the history of the Oscars – with the exception of the 1971 edition – the ceremony did not end with the prize for the best film as is the tradition but with the one for the best actor. On this occasion, many expected an emotional sequence devoted to Chadwick boseman, died in 2020, and present in the category. However, the prestigious statuette was handed over to Anthony hopkins for his interpretation in The Father of Florian Zeller.
To pay tribute to the deceased actor, Netflix has also put online, a few days before the ceremony, the short film CHADWICK BOSEMAN: PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST. This twenty-minute documentary offers an intimate portrait of an emblematic artist of his generation. Before the eyes of the beholder, the personalities (Viola Davis, Spike Lee, Danai Gurira, Glynn Turman…) follow one another to pay tribute to the interpreter of James Brown (Get On Up, 2013) and Jackie Robinson (42, 2014). The personal scenarios of Chadwick boseman in the hands, the actor’s former partners talk about his perfectionism and love of the game.
“You can have a career of 50, 60 years and never work with a Chadwick Boseman.”
By evoking all of his roles, these former comrades also testify to the importance that Chadwick boseman may have had in African American culture. In a tribute to the late actor, Vulture points out that fans have not hesitated to equate his abridged career with that of Heath ledger or River phoenix but the article returns above all to the cultural impact of the artist. Chadwick boseman was a prodigious and inspiring man who indeed stood out for his interpretations of major figures of African-American culture, ranging from James Brown to Jackie Robinson via Thurgood Marshall and T’Challa. As his former comrades point out in the documentary: “he did not imitate, he embodied ”. He embodied his men but also through them all the heritage of African-American culture.
Admittedly, the documentary has the drawback of only showing excerpts from the actor’s last film, The Blues of My Rainey (George C. Wolfe). Moments of Black panther (Ryan coogler), Get On Up (Tate taylor) or Marshall (Reginald Hudlin) would have brought a nice touch to this portrait of an artist who always wanted to do better. Nonetheless, it pays homage to the cinematic legacy left by Chadwick boseman : a delicate and powerful testament.
• Original title : Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist
• Actors: Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, George C. Wolfe, Taylour Paige, Danai Gurira, Spike Lee
• Release date : April 17, 2021
• Duration: 21 minutes