Directed by Nisha Ganatra, the film tells the story of a superstar diva Grace Davis (played by Tracee Ellis Ross), and her personal assistant Maggie Sherwoode (played by Dakota Johnson), who is torn between continuing in her current role or fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a music producer.
The film, which also stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Zoë Chao, Bill Pullman, Eddie Izzard, and Ice Cube, plays out similarly to a musical version of “The Devil Wears Prada” and was developed from Flora Greeson’s screenplay, formerly titled “Covers.” The script was previously featured on the 2018 Black List, Hollywood’s annual rundown of the best un-produced scripts of that year.
“The High Note” marks the singing debut for Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross, who recorded the film’s soundtrack, including the lead single “Love Myself.”
The chemistry between Johnson and Ross is the highlight of the film and presents an inspiring story for white-collar workers who want to chase their dreams. It also offers a rare peek into the operations and glamor behind Hollywood’s music scene.
Following its premiere in China, critics agree that the film is entertaining, inspiring, heartwarming, and is likely to strike a chord among audiences in the new year.
Prior to its China release on Jan. 15, the film has already opened to select theaters in several international markets, including South Korea, the Netherlands, and France, grossing a little more than $2.2 million worldwide. However, screenings in its biggest target market, North America, have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the film was released via various premium view-on-demand platforms on May 29, 2020. In its opening weekend, “The High Note” became the second-most rented film on FandangoNow and the third-most on the iTunes Store.
It’s not surprising that the film has worked to secure a theatrical release in China, given that the country has the world’s biggest film market, with near-fully functional cinemas allowing 75% capacity.
While musicals may not be Chinese audience’s favorite genre, Universal Pictures has released several such films here in recent years, including “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” in 2018, “Yesterday” in 2019, and “Sing Street” and “Trolls 2” in 2020, providing a happy spectacle for Chinese music fans.
Source: china.org by Zhang Rui
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