Maggie is an assistant to singer Grace, a dream job that makes her life hell. As Maggie looks for her big break to be a music producer, Grace seeks her next challenge. (via Amazon)
With theaters shut down right now, I have been eager to watch a new 2020 film release. Some of the other films released digitally earlier in the year weren’t any that I was interested in seeing. I’ll admit that The High Note probably wouldn’t have been one of my must-see films in May 2020 if things were normal in the world. However, I’m glad that I was able to catch The High Note on digital release because I would have been sorry to have missed it otherwise.
Dakota Johnson carries this film with ease. Maggie is a woman who has a goal and his working hard and tirelessly to achieve that goal and Johnson brings the right amount of strength, vulnerability, sass, tenacity, and likability to her character. Also, her chemistry with the other members of the cast is wonderful. Her scenes with Tracee Ellis Ross are some of the most emotional of the whole movie. And that’s saying something considering how well she paired with Kelvin Harrison Jr. Harrison and Johnson together really drove the heart of the film so it’s a good their relationship was believable on screen.
Being a movie about the music business, you would hope that the soundtrack is up to par. The soundtrack for The High Note is absolutely fantastic. Every song is different and memorable. I’ve been playing it on near repeat since watching this film. Ross is someone I recognize more as an actress than as a singer. Let me tell you, this. Woman. Can. Sing! Her voice is a show stopper. This comes as no surprise after learning she is the daughter of Diana Ross. Her song “Stop For A Minute” is hands-down my favorite song in the film. However, each of her songs stand out in their own right. I hope Ross takes the momentum from working on this soundtrack to record more music because her voice is worth hearing more of. I know I’ve talked a lot about Ross a bit but Harrison also has a great singing voice. His voice is so smooth and full of soul. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite song of his off the soundtrack because I like them all but “Let’s Stay Together” might, might, inch past the rest. Ross and Harris have a duet together that is pure magic. No matter how you feel about this film, chances are you will find a song to enjoy on the soundtrack.
If you watched the trailers, you might have a different idea of what the film is about than what it actually is as I feel the trailers are a bit misleading. Grace’s desire to create a new album, which seems to be the focus of the trailers, is more of the B-story. This movie’s focus is actually Maggie working towards her dream of becoming a music producer. Maggie’s story is very much intertwined with Grace’s story but a good portion of The High Note is devoted towards Maggie, which seems contradictory to what the trailers portray. Not a big deal but if you are reading this to decide to watch the film or not I just wanted you to have the correct expectations.
I thought The High Note was GOOD 🙂 You won’t find anything plot-wise that is too surprising or mold-breaking but it sticks to a tried-and-true formula that is easy to get behind. The solid cast, centered around Dakota Johnson, brings so much heart and soul to the film. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a soundtrack to listen to.
Cast & Crew
Nisha Ganatra – Director
Flora Greeson – Writer
Amie Doherty – Composer
Dakota Johnson – Maggie Sherwoode
Tracee Ellis Ross – Grace Davis
Kelvin Harrison Jr. – David Cliff
Ice Cube – Jack Robertson
June Diane Raphael – Gail
Zoe Chao – Katie
Eugene Cordero – Seth
Bill Pullman – Max
Jonathan Freeman – Martin
Eddie Izzard – Dan Deakins