Marshall (2017)
September 23, 2018 9:18 AM - Subscribe

Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, battles through one of his career-defining cases.
posted by ellieBOA (3 comments total)
There's a lot to like here, not the least of which is Boseman's stellar performance, which emanates dignity and a still-nascent gravitas.

But perhaps the thing I liked most was the idea of a "limited-scope biography." I know "Marshall" wasn't the first of its kind, but it's particularly good at showing how a biopic can be made stronger by not telling a figure's entire life story.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:46 AM on September 24, 2018

Saw this last night.

All the growth happens in the Sam Friedman character. Marshall is a character from a 70s tv show like Kung Fu or The Incredible Hulk, moving from town to town and doing good things each episode, but leaving before they have time to thank him so we can have the same set up next week. Bizarrely, this superhero aspect is 100% historically accurate.

Watching it the week of the Kavanaugh scandals it was an odd case to pick--there were plenty of cases Marshall did with clear proof of exoneration but I couldn't escape the fact that this one involved convincing a jury that a woman claiming rape really wanted it. I understand how charged the whole dynamic was at the time but I found it a bit unsettling in 2018.

Still I really liked it. Thurgood Marshall was such an amazing character and this captures the support network he had of local communities around the country too who wanted--needed--him to succeed.
posted by mark k at 7:59 AM on September 25, 2018

I liked it too, but I was really surprised how little light it shed on most of Marshall's life. Granted, the man who was the NAACP's main lawyer, who won Brown vs. Board of Education, and later became the first African-American Solicitor General, and the first African-American member of the Supreme Court, probably needs more than a two hour movie to do him justice. This film is more like a chapter than a book. Still, it was a very stirring, entertaining chapter. I look forward to seeing the entire thing some day.
posted by ubiquity at 12:38 PM on September 25, 2018

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