This film is timely. This film left me on the edge of my seat. It is a powerful look at how film is used as a medium to educate, entertain and engage an audience. The film surrounds the case of Joseph Spell, the black driver of a well to do white family accused of raping and kidnapping Eleanor Strubing, the wife.
Chadwick Boseman is smooth and verbose as Thurgood Marshall. There is a swagger he brings of Marshall, an ego that is hungry for justice. Josh Gad is fantastic as Sam Friedman, enduring the racism through violence and slurs due to representing Joseph Spell. He grows to be a profilic lawyer. Chadwick and Josh are remarkable in their scenes together. They meet each other in a way that is outstanding to watch. Kate Hudson is captivating as the accuser Eleanor Strubing. Sterling K Brown is stunning as Joseph Spell, the accused with a flawed past and a tongue for the truth. Dan Stevens is downright incredible as the prosecutor, playing to his advantage the outright racism of the case. Ahna O'Reilly is wonderful in a small role as Mrs. Richmond, a key character in the case. James Cromwell brings his acting strength playing the judge of the case. He kept my blood curdling with frustration. Keesha Sharp is wonderful as Thurgood’s wife Buster. Marina Squerciati is remarkable as Sam’s wife.
Costume Designer Ruth Carter gave history in each stitching of clothing and accessories the characters wore. Writers Michael Koskoff and Jacob Koskoff weave the tension of racism, the impact of family life and truth as a lifeline. Director Reginald Hudlin stylizes the film that compliments the script. It is not just the courtroom. It is the club where Thurgood spends time with Langston Hughes (Jussie Smollett) and at the synagogue and on the steps of the courthouse among other places.
I don’t quite think it was a biopic about Thurgood Marshall. It also focused on the people and organizations involved for a case Thurgood was a part of.
Take a group of friends/family and experience this film.