Not always authetnic Lady
Movie Lover: Laura Demilio
Pittsburgh, PA US
-- June, 20, 2006
I'm surprised there weren't more biogrpahical movies about Billie Holiday. Diana Ross is a fine actress, but physically and vocally does not resemble Billie Holiday, and there are some glaring historical and biographical inaccuracies in the movie. There still is an early-1970's ambience to a story supposed to be set in the 1930's and 40's, and that can't be blamed on this movie being made in 1972, when so many other movies (Caberet, The Sting, Dillinger) from the early 70's strove much more for historical accuracy and usually succeeded.
Despite the gripping story, there still seems to be some main element lacking - maybe because of less concentration being paid to Holiday's later years. Billy Dee Williams was a stuningly handsome and sympathetic character, but I didn't think Richard Pryor succeeded as the druggie friend - his groping gestures and babyish sound effects when trying to tell Billie of her mother's death came off all wrong. I'm glad to have a copy of this movie but think sometime it ought to be redone a little more accurately.