Run time: 89 mins
There’s a lot to say about Ella Fitzgerald that goes beyond the stock superlatives. And happily, Just One of Those Things addresses the lack of attention accorded Ella as a subject worthy of thoughtful chronicle.
Ella Fitzgerald was a 15 year-old street kid when she won a talent contest in 1934 at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Within months she was a star. This fascinating documentary follows her extraordinary journey over six decades as her sublime voice transforms the tragedies of her own life and the troubles of her times into joy.
Fitzgerald was aesthetically an unlikely star; a woman who didn’t fit society’s conventional idea of a traditionally glamourous, slender beauty. She rallied against sexism and racism in her day to day life. Marilyn Monroe is credited as demanding the prestigious Hollywood club, Mocambo open its doors to Ella. One of the film’s poignant moments witnesses Fitzgerald speaking out against racism on a radio show…the piece was never broadcast. There’s a thrill of hope for a future in which Ella Fitzgerald’s music lives on. We loved her as kids despite her being ‘parents music’. Her voice and style transcended, and does now will on and on.