The High Note [Blu-Ray Review]

Tracee Ellis Ross stars as Grace Davis in THE HIGH NOTE, a Focus Features release.

In case you missed us talking about this film when it first came out, we’re back to tell you that it’s a must-watch.

Arianne previously wrote about the film during it’s initial run. As they watched the film, they sent a text message informing me that I’m going to love the film. And that I would wish that it was possible to see in the theatres. Arianne was absolutely right in their text messages now that I’ve been able to see the film twice on home video.

I miss concerts, and I miss loud, loud music. It would have been lovely to see this film in a theatre, and with a crowd. I’m sure there’s a possible sing-along version of the film, even if it’s not a “full-blown” musical.

The soundtrack includes “Mind Over Matter”, an Anthony Ramos track from his debut album “The Good & The Bad.” It also has other original tracks such as “Love Myself” or “Like I Do” or my personal favourite, “Track 8.” And to be honest, if you’re like me, you were wondering where Kelvin Harrison Jr. was hiding his voice, but don’t worry, it was the first question I asked when we spoke this week.

While watching the film, it’s sort of clear where the film is going to lead up to, which includes the “twist” of the film. But twists aren’t meant or necessary to the enjoyment of musicals or rom-coms. So even if it’s predictable, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to love the film because of it. Even when it is revealed, the film glosses over it as if it’s saying “it was obvious Maggie, move on already.”

Everyone in the film does such great work. Tracee Ellis Ross is remarkable in the film. I wish they gave her more to do. Dakota Johnson and Kelvin Harrison Jr. are both electric in their roles, and their chemistry is wonderful. When Maggie (Johnson) tells David (Harrison Jr.) the microphone he sings in used to belong to Sam Cooke and does a producer’s job to make him feel more comfortable before beginning to sing “Track 8”, you’re left watching with a giant grin on your face. Which is how you feel during most of the film. And frankly, to watch something this upbeat is both a pleasant change from the tensity filled films of Kelvin’s past roles (It Comes at Night, Luce, Waves), and the terrifying reality that exists outside of our houses (or for those whose family have been infected, possibly inside our homes as well), it feels great to watch a film that makes you feel happy when it’s over.

I’ve seen the film twice over, and I can already see myself wanting to revisit it again and again while staying indoors during this hot summer. That’s a testament to this film. Also on the physical release, there’s a lot of great features.

First, they have the “Like I Do” music video which feels like it’s a mix of behind-the-scenes and movie based scenes. Typical movie song music videos, it’s not in character, and the music video will acknowledge it is based on a film. There’s also The Dream Team: Inside the Creation of The High Note, all the key players in the film talk about how everyone was brought into making the film and how everyone was brought together.

Making A Legend: The Grace Davis Story. It’s styled just like the classic VH1 Behind The Music television show. And it’s clear that they were shot just after or before the previous featurette.

There are also deleted scenes that run over 27 minutes – and that’s what makes it worth the purchase. A lot of the scenes are extended scenes that were cut out, and a bunch of great Alt takes that show how funny Kelvin can be, but also prove how funny we already know Ice Cube and June Diane Raphael are.

You can buy the film on digital right now, or wait until it’s released on physical on August 11th.