"High Flying Bird"

This film hits in the crux of sports, media and power. In the height of a NBA lockout, Ray (André Holland) works to keep his star client, Erick Scott, a cocky basketball player.

André Holland is suave and carries the balance of loyalty and eager for influence. Erick Scott plays into the ego of his role. Zazie Beetz is cool as Sam, Ray’s former assistant yet right hand person. Her natural style is beautiful to witness onscreen. Justin Hurtt-Dunkley plays Jamero Umber. He has one scene yet commands the space against his foil, Erick. Sonya Sohn is a spotlight of the film as Myra, who works at the talent agency. Another spotlight of the film is Jeryl Prescott, who plays Emera Umber, Jamero’s mother, manager, and agent, with no sweat on the edge of her lip and full control. Bill Duke, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan, Caleb McLaughlin (who has a deep voice now!) and Bobbi A. Bordley are a part of a mighty ensemble.

iPhones were the cameras used for filming. Director Steven Soderbergh maintains his signature style where he only invites so much into the room for the audience. Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney sprinkles in influences of Spike Lee, as black culture is prevalent. It is an interesting filmmaking collaboration between Soderbergh and McCraney. There are interviews spliced with Donovan Mitchell, Karl Anthony Towns and Reggie Jackson, who are NBA Players. Myra wears a chic feather cuffed coat attributed in the character fabric by Costume Designer Marci Rogers. Composer David Wilder Savage created a mix of songs and sound for a smooth score, as noted during a meeting when “I Wish” by Skee-Lo played. The ending is forgettable, ends abruptly.

This film is streaming on Netflix.