Between her comedic but nuanced portrayal of Rainbow on Black-ish, her always glamorous red carpet looks, and her experiences watching her mother, Diana Ross, perform as a child, Tracee Ellis Ross is definitely the actress most suited to play a glamorous but disgruntled singing superstar. She accomplishes just that in the trailer for her new film, The High Note.
Grace Davis (Ross) is a widely beloved musician who travels the world and depends on her assistant Maggie (Dakota Johnson) to be at her beck and call. Davis is trying to get a record made, rather than doing another tired residency, but her manager is attempting to hold her back for fear that the public doesn’t want a record from a woman of a certain age. Maggie desperately wants to be a music producer (a job that precious few women are allowed to hold!), but is stuck in what is increasingly apparent to be a dead end assistant job with no way out.
“It’s really bleak out there for middle aged singers,” Ellis Ross’s characters explains, addressing the sexism and ageism of the music industry. “In the history of music, only five women over 40 have ever had a number one hit and only one of them was Black.” Through their connection, the two women encourage each other to overcome the ludicrous expectations for women in the music industry.
The High Note is in theaters May 8. Watch the trailer below.