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The High Note

The High Note

USA 2020 - with Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bill Pullman, Ice Cube ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The High Note
Genre:Comedy, Music movie
Direction:Nisha Ganatra
Cinema release:25.06.2020
Production country:USA 2020
Running time:Approx. 113 min.
Rated:From 0 years
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Maggie (Dakota Johnson) has a job that many would envy - at least until they have to do it themselves. Because working as a personal assistant for music superstar Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross) is truly no walk in the park. Instead of realizing her dream of producing music herself, Maggie has to run errands for the diva and get plumbed by her manager (Ice Cube). But when Maggie meets the charismatic singer David (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), she sees her chance. She convinces him to hire her as his producer. She hides the fact that she actually works for Grace Davis from him, just as she hides the work on Davis music from her capricious boss. But it doesn't take long until this lie is exposed and Maggie's dream is finally destroyed.

With "The High Note" director Nisha Gantra follows a very similar path as in her last film "Late Night". Once again, the focus is on a simple employee of a not exactly sociable personality who is in the spotlight. And again, it's about the famous personality - a late night talker there, a soul diva here - being more or less sidelined (here in the form of a permanent engagement in Las Vegas), but who could experience a second career spring through the influence of that same employee. This is very nice to watch, but unfortunately not as amusing as "Late Night". Instead of really biting dialogues there are some too tough conversations, which too often drift off towards triviality.

The film is saved by the likeable actors and actresses, as well as by the music, which is really good over long stretches. Dakota Johnson doesn't prove to be a great actress, but can make up for this shortcoming with a lot of charm. However, Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish"), herself the daughter of legendary soul diva Diana Ross, plays her to the wall in almost every scene. Kelvin Harrison Jr. ("Waves") convinces as a mysterious up-and-coming singer and also the short appearance of Bill Pullman as Maggie's father is really worth seeing.

However, this doesn't hide the fact that the movie is dramaturgically very simple. There are no real surprises - apart from a mini-twist - and the characters are drawn very one-dimensional. No question, the movie is nicely filmed and has, also because of the soundtrack, some thrilling moments. However, nothing and no one can leave a lasting impression - neither the main actresses, nor the songs or even the story. A nice pastime - no more, but also no less and therefore in the end: well worth seeing!

"The High Note" will be shown in the cinema from 25.06. and is available as VoD (z.e.g. at Prime Video and Apple).

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The High Note (USA 2020)"
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