domenica 29 gennaio 2012

Cadillac Records: remembering Etta (e non solo lei)

Cadillac Records
(USA 2008)
Regia: Darnell Martin
Cast: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé Knowles, Cedric the Entertainer, Eamonn Walker, Mos Def, Columbus Short, Emmanulle Chriqui, Shiloh Fernandez, Suzette Gunn, Q-Tip, Norman Reedus, Gabrielle Union
Genere: musicale
Se ti piace guarda anche: Ray, La Bamba, Quando l’amore brucia l’anima - Walk the Line

Mosso, anzi commosso dalla scomparsa di Etta James, sono andato a recuperarmi Cadillac Records. Un film non solo sulla grande voce del soul recentemente volata in cielo a duettare con Amy Winehouse, ma più in generale sulla Chess Records.
La Chess Records, nonostante il nome, non faceva certo dischi da ascoltare nel cess. Quella è la Sugar, l’etichetta discografica di Caterina Caselli che “vanta” nel suo roster artisti del calibro di Negramaro, Andrea Bocelli, Raf e Raphael Gualazzi.
La Chess Records non era gestita dal casco d’oro italiano bensì da Leonard Chess, interpretato da un come al solito non pervenuto Adrien Brody, attore che ci è o ci fa? e che ancora non mi capacito come nella vita abbia vinto un Oscar. Ah, dite che l’hanno vinto pure Cuba Gooding Jr., Nicolas Cage e Angelina Jolie? Allora me ne capacito, eccome.
Decisamente molto più in parte Jeffrey Wright, grande attore visto di recente in Source Code e Le idi di marzo e abituato ai ruoli biografici tra Basquiat e il Colin Powell di W., a vestire questa volta i panni di Muddy Waters. E-sti-caz-zi. Mentre la figura di Chess viene tratteggiata in maniera confusa, non si capisce se agisca spinto da una reale passione per la musica o solo dai soldi, probabilmente la seconda, il personaggio di Muddy è più complesso e sfaccettato, diviso com’è tra talento musicale e amore per le donne. Un grandissimo, Muddy Waters, omaggiato anche dai Rolling Stones e più di recente nell’ipnotico grandioso pezzo “Bleeding Muddy Water” contenuto nel nuovissimo album di Mark Lanegan.


Il personaggio top è però Chuck Berry, portato sullo schermo dall’ottimo attore e rapper Mos Def, unica nota lieta dell’ultima, sconvolgentemente deludente stagione di Dexter. Chuck Berry è forse il personaggio più importante per quanto riguarda la musica moderna, ancor più del sopravvalutato (sì, l’ho detto!) Elvis Presley. Quello a cui persino i Beach Boys hanno rubato gli accordi. Quello che ha portato il divertimento, l’eccitazione e l’esaltazione nella musica. Quello che ha inventato il rock’n’roll. Il primo, il più grande. E smettetela co’ ‘sto Elvis.


Altre figure chiave sono Little Walter, prima un tranquillo armonicista poi all’improvviso quando scopre l’alcool un pazzo pericoloso, quindi il feroce “lupo” Howlin’ Wolf...


...lo speaker della pellicola Willie Dixon e poi lei, Etta James, resa da una Beyoncé molto valida. Non eccezionale, con margini di miglioramento a livello recitativo, ma comunque parecchio valida. Se la pellicola parte alla grande con Muddy Waters, poi si spegne un po’, poi risale con l’arrivo di Chuck Berry, quindi ha un nuovo calo, è con Etta che il film si accende definitivamente. At last, è proprio il caso di dirlo. La sua figura avrebbe meritato un maggiore approfondimento, così come quella di diversi altri artisti qui presentati, però alla fine questa è una storia corale, un ritratto non monografico ma stereo.
Una pellicola girata in maniera molto convenzionale e precisa, con una narrazione di stampo hollywoodiano un po’ semplicistico, che vive di ottime interpretazioni (eccezion fatta per il solito Brody), e soprattutto di grandi suoni. Una pagina importantissima della musica raccontata in un film cinematograficamente no incredibile ma sì godibile. Consigliato per andare a scoprire un po’ più da vicino la musica e le vite di un branco di personaggi fenomenali come Muddy, Chuck, Wolf, Lil' Walter e lei, naturalmente lei, Etta.
(voto 6,5/10)

87 commenti:

  1. bel film e bella la scena quando cinque pivellini inglesi arrivano negli studi della Chess.

    RispondiElimina
  2. Ce l'ho lì in attesa da una vita.
    Chissà che non lo recuperi giusto per trovare qualche punto di "scontro"! ;)
    E giusto perchè voglio scaldare i motori per la Blog war di domani, ti segnalo un refuso: "Una pellicola girata in maniera molto convenzionale e preciso".
    Tiè! ;)

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. ford che corregge cannibal: adesso posso dire di averle viste davvero tutte ahaha!

      Elimina
  3. Il Cannibale che onora Etta? Grande, sono piacevolmente stupita :)

    Cadillac Records è uno dei 183829 che ho lì da vedere, ma vista l'occasione potrei anche metterlo in cima alla lista :)

    RispondiElimina
  4. è passato un po' in sordina questo film. Non conoscevo la Chess Records né Etta James, quindi non credo che avrò mai voglia di vederlo!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. mmm... tanto meglio, allora. i film non servono soprattutto per farci conoscere storie che non conoscevamo? ;)

      Elimina
    2. Sì, se in quelle storie trovi qualcosa di stimolante!

      Elimina
  5. Mmm interessante recensione...aggiungiamo alla lista "da vedere"

    RispondiElimina
  6. da fan della Chess (ovvero di quello che è uscito con quell'etichetta) me lo sono visto praticamente appena uscito.
    Per poco non bastava la presenza di "Bionsè" per farmelo schifare, povera Etta.
    Lo salvo giusto perchè certi film che parlano di certe cose non posso non salvarli..

    RispondiElimina
  7. Io lo boccio con un 4/5.

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  8. Visto poco tempo fa, e dico wow, era davvero figo! :)

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