Review: Miles Ahead (2016) Director: Don Cheadle (15)

Taking its title from jazz musician Miles Davis' 1957 LP, Miles Ahead is a chaotic film but we mean that with total praise. Miles' life is depicted as chaotic, with the movie following the period when he went quiet and away from the industry for five years. As well as directing and co-writing the film, Don Cheadle plays Davis and he does it beautifully; you start to believe he is Davis and he draws you in. Ewan McGregor is Rolling Stone journalist Dave Brill, who starts off on Davis' doorstep, gains his trust (of sorts) and ends up being thumped a lot. With Davis comes the chaos, and you're powerless not to become part of it .
Whilst watching Miles Ahead, you can't help but make comparisons between Davis' life and that of Prince. An air of mystery surrounds them both - the legendary stories, the 'Howard Hughes' lifestyle, the late night jams and the raw, REAL talent. Cheadle plays Davis with the air of you'll never understand the man, but you totally get his passion for music. Davis isn't likeable here - the relationship breakdown with his wife Frances (a sublime Emayatzy Corinealdi) is hard to watch - but he's a fantastic, engaging subject to bring to the screen and study.
The film does jump around a lot in Davis' career but it's not off-putting. We see him at the peak of his success with Kind of Blue through to his resurgence in the '80s. McGregor's flawed journo is a good buddy and sparring partner for Davis, and there's also a genuine turn from Keith Stanfield as potential protégé Junior. Whether you're a jazz fan or not, Cheadle brings a wonderfully absorbing film and portrayl of Davis to the screen; the look, feel, sounds and the clothes are so rich. Be one of the cool cats and check it out.
4/5 jazz hands