I watched the movie The High Note over the weekend. It tells three stories of three people in one film: the artist Grace Davis (Tracee-Ellis Ross), the personal assistant/producer Maggie (Dakota Johnson), and David Cliff (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). The songs include the ones performed by Tracee-Ellis Ross, old classics (i.e. Aretha Franklin) and covers given by Tracee-Ellis Ross or Kelvin Harrison Jr.
The main character Maggie is a personal assistant turns producer. She has a passion for music but struggles to balance her actual job and her path to her dream career of becoming a producer. She meets David Cliff, an aspiring singer working at a local grocery store. She hears him performing on a small stage and has an “aha” moment. Her love for music is heartfelt and sincere. We learn the story of how she became interested in this industry.
Tracee-Ellis Ross (as Grace Davis) performed the songs from the soundtrack in the concert scenes and one in the studio. The character isn’t just a diva but is a multi-faceted person trying to find her place in the world and the music industry. When Grace Davis goes to the studios to record Love Myself, it was a genuine moment where she sings from the heart. That was a new song for the artist who dared to go on a different path.
The third character David Cliff is essential in the movie. Like his father, David Cliff Sr, he’s aspiring to become a famous musician. He’s also multi-faceted and dynamic where he can be confident at times, then other times insecure and uncertain of himself. He grows as a person throughout the movie. Kelvin Harrison Jr’s was incredible. He sang from the heart and with style and boldness.
These three characters interconnect in their lives and affect each other, both professionally and personally. They were relatable and authentic in the different aspects of their lives. It was an impressive turn of events.
Actors: Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kelvin Harrison, Jr.,
Bill Pullman, Zoe Chao, Eddie Izzard, Ice Cube
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Producers: Tim Bevan
Writer: Flora Greeson