“Miles Ahead,” Don Cheadle’s directorial debut in which he stars as the titular music pioneer Miles Davis, premiered last night as the closing film at the New York Film Festival. Well-received by festival attendees, the biopic has earned mixed reviews from critics who praise Cheadle’s ambition, but find flaws in the execution.
Despite this, Cheadle’s portrayal of the legendary trumpeter and composer is making waves, thanks in no small way to two clips released this weekend ahead of the premiere. The first of these clips, which you can see here (it’s a Yahoo Movies exclusive), features Davis working in the studio with a big band ensemble. The film is largely set in the 1970s, but this clip seems to show one of Davis’ numerous flashbacks to earlier periods of epic output and genre-defining cool jazz, best epitomized by his landmark album “Kind of Blue.”
The second clip, which you can see below, shows Davis in the ’70s, as his sound grew more experimental and his mental health diminished. In it, he is takes Ewan McGregor’s Dave Brill—a British journalist who ultimately helps Davis recover some lost material—to his label’s office while talking in blunt terms about his overall life story.
“Miles Ahead” features Cheadle as Davis and Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, with Emayatzy Corinealdi as Davis’s muse and first wife Frances Taylor (who Davis infamously abused). The film, which still has no theatrical release date set, will be distributed by Sony Pictures Classic.