Starring in George C. Wolfe's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Chadwick Boseman delivered one of the most incredible, emotional performances of 2020 – and this evening the Hollywood Foreign Press Association rewarded him for his work. The actor was up against incredible competition in the Best Actor - Drama category, with nominees including Mank's Gary Oldman, The Father's Anthony Hopkins, The Mauritanian's Tahar Rahim, and Sound of Metal's Riz Ahmed, but Boseman won the award posthumously, and his wife Taylor Simone Ledward delivered a deeply emotional speech in his honor, which you can watch below:
We here at CinemaBlend were just still getting over the emotional punch that was watching those kids recognize Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther, but this is a whole other level. Chadwick Boseman was taken from this world far too soon, having passed away this summer following a multi-year battle with cancer, and this speech is a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to an awesome performer whose work touched millions of lives.
Adapted from the stage play by August Wilson, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom stars Chadwick Boseman as Levee, a talented trumpet player in 1920s Chicago who has dreams of doing far more than just playing in a backup band – with goals including starting his own group and writing his own songs. What unfortunately stands in his way is his boss, the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), who is threatened by his ambition and his potential for stealing the spotlight. This conflict and many more all come to a head one day while recording a new album, with tempers flaring and only raising the temperature on a hot summer day.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was one of two Chadwick Boseman movies to come out last year, the other being Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, and they feature the two final live-action turn by the actor. He only has one other recorded performance that has not yet been released, which a voice-only reprisal of T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther in Marvel Studios' upcoming animated series What If...? While no official release date has been announced, it's expected that the series will debut on Disney+ this summer.
For those of you who haven't yet seen Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, it is an absolute must, and a spectacular dramatic achievement. This film, which co-stars Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, and Michael Potts, is now available to stream on Netflix. Watch it now, because Chadwick Boseman's performance is only going to be getting more attention as we get closer to the Academy Awards, and it wouldn't be a surprise in any way shape or form if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed the turn and the movie with even more accolades.
To see all of the other winners from tonight's Golden Globes ceremony, head over here.