Tyler Perry Is at His Most Serious—and His Best—With ‘A Jazzman’s Blues’

I watched it. And, I have to admit, it probably is his best work. ~V


Hollywood multihyphenate Tyler Perry recently described the process of making his new Netflix drama A Jazzman’s Blues, a film he wrote over two decades ago, as “the first time [he’s] really enjoyed making a movie.”

This admission is a bit puzzling from a filmmaker hellbent on unleashing his often egregiously made movies (and even worse wigs) onto the public nearly every year. He’s also historically gone out of his way to boast about his ability to produce whatever projects he wants, despite mainstream Hollywood’s initial misgivings about him.

Whatever Perry meant by that, I’m not too sure. But I immediately buy the sentiment watching A Jazzman’s Blues, a movie that has all the trappings of a fictional work set in the post-Antebellum South and conventions of a sweeping romantic blockbuster, but is executed with an unusual amount of care from the often slapdash auteur.

It feels like we’re watching a fan of the most traditional, crowd-pleasing Hollywood movies take an ultimately safe but uncharacteristic stab at “serious,” thoughtful movie-making.

The result is often contrived and predictable, especially during the film’s final hour. However, a tight, subdued script and a charming cast of talented, lesser-known actors make A Jazzman’s Blues one of the more watchable dramas Perry has crafted in a long time.

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A Jazzman’s Blues ~ Video via Netflix

Synopsis:

A sweeping tale of forbidden love, A JAZZMAN’S BLUES unspools forty years of secrets and lies soundtracked by juke joint blues in the deep South.

Written, directed and produced by Academy Award honoree Tyler Perry, the film stars Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer as star-crossed lovers Bayou and Leanne alongside an ensemble cast that includes Amirah Vann, Austin Scott, Milauna Jemai Jackson, Brent Antonello, Brad Benedict, Kario Marcel, Lana Young and Ryan Eggold.

The film features an original song performed by Ruth B., songs arranged and produced by multi-Grammy winner & two-time Academy Award nominee Terence Blanchard, music by Aaron Zigman and choreography by Debbie Allen.

Watch A Jazzman’s Blues on Netflix September 23, 2022.

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