Release date: Feb. 26, 2021 (on Hulu)
Cast: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund
Director: Lee Daniels
Run time: 130 min.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 58%
More potential Oscar nominees are rolling in and it's time to watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday on Hulu. Singer Andra Day is earning rave reviews for her performance as the jazz icon. She already got a Golden Globes 2021 nominations for Best Actress in a Drama; the Academy Awards is just around the corner.
The biopic from director Lee Daniels chronicles how Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz artists in history, basked in the adoration of fans worldwide but was also targeted by the the Federal Department of Narcotics. A heroin addict, she is set up to fall for undercover agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes).
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The film examines Holiday's struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love. It's based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari.
Here's everything you need to know to watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday online. Plus, check out the trailer below:
How to watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday on Hulu
The United States vs. Billie Holiday hits Hulu on Feb. 26, 2021.
Hulu is only available in the U.S.
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The United States vs. Billie Holiday reviews
The reviews for The United States vs. Billie Holiday are mixed. Movie critics found the the film uneven but almost universally praised Andra Day's performance. Here's a roundup of reviews:
A.O. Scott, The New York Times: "The seeds of a satisfying and illuminating anti-biopic are scattered through those scenes, but The United States vs. Billie Holiday proves unable to rescue its heroine from its own confusion."
Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend: "There is a lot about The United States vs. Billie Holiday that doesn’t feel like it knows entirely what it’s doing, but that never fails to be compelling is the performance by Andra Day. Though the film marks her first leading role, you wouldn’t know if just based on what’s on screen, as she has all the confidence in the world and a strong dramatic presence."
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: "And at the center of it always is the mercurial, spectacular Day: Though her resemblance to the real Holiday is mostly circumstantial, she conjures Billie's blues not just from her own throat — all the classic original vocals have been fully and faithfully rerecorded — but the bottom of her soul, too."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: "Day mesmerizes even when Lee Daniels' unwieldy bio-drama careens all over the map with stylistic inconsistency and narrative dysfunction, settling for episodic electricity in the absence of a robust connective thread. It's a mess, albeit an absorbing one, driven by a raw central performance of blistering indignation, both tough and vulnerable."