Like 2019’s award winning Judy, The United States vs. Billie Holiday plays like a Made For TV melodrama elevated to undeserving heights by a commanding central performance.
The primary difference—Renée Zellweger was a veritable veteran when she helmed that picture, whereas this is Andra Day’s first role with any meat on its bones.
And it is a truly impressive performance Day that puts in here, dominating this sloppily directed film. That said, given her roots are primarily in music, I’m now genuinely curious to see if she’s capable of transcending this comfort zone, or if she’ll turn out being a one-hit wonder.
Here’s to hoping for the former.