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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Abandoned by her parents, a young girl (Rae'ven Larrymore Kelly) is raised by her grandmother. She reunites with her mother (Jenifer Lewis) when she becomes of age. But when she meets Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne), he changes her name to Tina Turner (Angela Bassett) and sets her on the road to stardom. But it's a violent and abusive road until she can break free. Loosely based on Turner's autobiography I, TINA. With a sensational central performance by Bassett and an equally compelling performance by Fishburne and a terrific set of musical numbers, this is several notches above the usual entertainer movie biography. The director Brian Gibson, the cinematographer Jamie Anderson, the production designer Stephen Altman and the costume designer Ruth Carter have all created a handsome and authentic period look. The scenes of domestic violence are very difficult to sit through, Gibson doesn't pull any punches. But I wish Gibson had allowed Bassett to end the film instead of replacing her with the real Tina Turner during the What's Love Got To Do With It finale. With Vanessa Bell Calloway.

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