Review: Rustin

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Title: Rustin
MPA Rating: PG-13
Director: George C. Wolfe
Starring: Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Aml Ameen
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins

What It Is: Civil Rights leader, activist, LGBTQ+ icon, Bayard Rustin (Domingo) was a instrumental in crafting the March on Washington. Through racism and homophobia that existed in his time so to did this man. Fighting a battle on two fronts. He deals with all of the moving parts and all the opposing forces in order to make this most historic event a reality. A portrait of a flawed but honorable man just trying to live his life, in spite of the odds against him.

What We Think: Colman Domingo is nominated for Best Actor. He certainly is the best part of this film. He’s electric and you just cannot take your eyes off of him. The film is, overall, quite dull in execution. If not for this spectacular turn from Domingo, who is great but there’s a few performances I’d put in front of him, this film would be a massive borefest and too much of a slog to get through. For his part, and not in a good way, George C. Wolfe doesn’t do anything to aesthetically pleasing. No, this is a film that is performance and script.

Our Grade: B, Carried by the charisma of it’s leading turn and giving us a look at a historical figure that has often gone unpraised and underappreciated for what he meant to the Civil Rights movement and Black America in general. For that I think this film is a real lesson in what life was like for both subsection of humanity that often suffered in that time. A glimpse into getting dealt two hands that might not have SEEMED ideal but led to something bigger and more important than anyone would’ve seen.

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