‘Man, knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery.’ Miles Davis, from Miles: The Autobiography.
Cheadle is mesmerizing in the role. It’s a near impossible task to portray someone with so many demons and flaws in his life, yet possessed with artistic genius and mind-boggling talent, and get it right. But instead of allowing himself to get weighed down with such a heavy burden, he soars, jumping from Davis’ famously arrogant and self-righteous attitude to a more sympathetic side he so richly delivered over the years in films as wide-ranging as Boogie Nights and Hotel Rwanda. It’s a towering portrayal, that slyly allows the audience into an extremely complex headspace, and even feel sympathy for a man who objects to everyone he meets, dooms the great relationship of his life (to wife Francis Taylor, sensitively portrayed by Emayatzy Corinealdi), and whose pursuit of his next narcotic fix takes priority over every other aspect of his being.