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Review: Regina King is ‘Shirley’ Chisolm in new biopic drama film

Academy Award-winning actress Regina King stars as Shirley Chisolm in the new biographical drama film “Shirley.”

Regina King in 'Shirley'
Regina King in 'Shirley.' Photo Credit: Glen Wilson, Netflix.
Regina King in 'Shirley.' Photo Credit: Glen Wilson, Netflix.

Academy Award-winning actress Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) stars as Shirley Chisolm in the new biographical drama film “Shirley.”

This movie is inspired by true events, and as of March 22, it is available to stream on Netflix. It is the story of the first African American congresswoman and her trailblazing run for president of the United States.

It was directed by John Ridley (who also wrote the screenplay) and it co-stars Lance Reddick, Lucas Hedges, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christina Jackson, Dorian Crossmond Missick, Amirah Vann, with André Holland and Terrence Howard.

This biographical drama chronicles Chisholm’s audacious, boundary-breaking 1972 presidential campaign. It showcases one woman’s opportunity to make a difference in the political arena.

Lance Reddick portrays Wesley “Mac” Holder, her fiercely devoted presidential campaign advisor, in one of his last roles ever prior to his passing. Michael Cherrie also plays her supportive but increasingly estranged husband Conrad Chisholm.

The Verdict

Overall, Regina King delivers a bravura and cerebral performance in “Shirley” that is gloriously transformative. King humanizes and embodies the American congresswoman quite well, and she layers her emotions well. It will certainly spark conversations among viewers. There is a rawness and authenticity to this biopic.

King will definitely strike a chord with the hearts of her viewers with this controlled and commanding performance in “Shirley”; moreover, she is able to trip her hat to the pioneer Black congresswoman.

For anybody who is unfamiliar with Chisolm’s legacy, this movie is a good introduction to her life and career in office.

King deserves a Best Actress Academy Award nomination at next year’s Oscars ceremony, at the very least… it is too huge to be ignored. “Shirley” garners 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“Shirley” is available for streaming on Netflix.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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