Dolemite is My Name drops on Netflix as one of the best reviewed films of the year – at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Driven by a talented ensemble, Dolemite Is My Name is Eddie Murphy’s show – as he plays a man who wants so much more out of life than life had in mind for him. Murphy plays the role with a smile but what makes it such a great performance is what he’s hiding underneath the smile. Pain and humility. It’s a role unlike Murphy has ever played and tops the year of great male performances.
Dolemite Is My Name was a long time in the making. For whatever reason, no studio would touch it. Although we should say that it isn’t for no reason. It is specifically because studios have mostly stopped making films that might present a risk. Netflix stepped up and got it made, as it did with The Irishman.
The writing, the directing and the acting make Dolemite is My Name easily one of the best films of the year and Murphy’s performance right at the top.
Can he win? I have no idea – I’m guessing the Academy doesn’t go in for comedic roles very often. They like their actors suffering and unrecognizable. Murphy does transform himself into Rudy Ray Moore by gaining weight and carefully studying the voice, mannerisms, and body language of the real Moore — but for Best Actor, one must suffer for the art. Murphy doesn’t suffer, he soars.
Whether it is recognized by the Academy or not will have no effect on its place in film history. Also great, Da’Vine Randolph Joy and Wesley Snipes, along with the whole ensemble.
By the way, Dolemite Is My Name is still playing in theaters.