Will “Get On Up” Whitewash James Brown?

Just about the only big summer film (release date: August 1st) that I’m looking forward to is “Get On Up,” starring Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. I don’t expect this to be the gritty, nasty, sexy look at Brown that some people want; I expect it to have some gloss, just like “Ray” gave gloss to Ray Charles and “Dreamgirls” gave gloss to The Supremes. The naysayers and purists are already circling “Get On Up.” One of them is Anna Zed, who knew Brown. She says that Boseman “is lithe and handsome but sort of winsome and sweet and nonthreatening…Brown was personally and politically intimidating and people were genuinely either enthralled or shocked (or both) by him throughout his entire life.”

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