Visionary filmmaker Damien Chazelle steps into the director's chair once more - this time in the Netflix musical-drama miniseries The Eddy.
A more than capable hand, Chazelle has directed - among others - the movies Whiplash, First Man, and La La Land, the latter of which bestowed him the distinction of being the youngest recipient of the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
Chazelle is never more at home than when he has to incorporate musical themes into his movies: himself being a student of music at Princeton. While his jazz career didn't pan out, his reverence for music remained a common theme in his movies.
The Eddy is no exception! The eight-part musical-drama miniseries is set in Paris and explores the turmoils of the owner of an edgy jazz bar, The Eddy.
The miniseries is set to premiere on Netflix on May 8, 2020. Here is what we know about the show so far, and why what we do know about the show makes us excited.
What We Know About The Plot
The Eddy is centered around Elliot Udo, an American former-jazz pianist, now the co-owner of a jazz bar in the heart of Paris. A frontier between the seedy-underbelly of the city outskirts and the pristine opulence of the town square, The Eddy plays host to all types of people.
Udo's business partner is the suave Frenchman, Farid, who handles the monetary aspect while Udo handles the creative aspect like managing the in-house band fronted by his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Maja.
His strife with Maja is only the tip of the iceberg plaguing Udo, however, as he soon discovers that Farid is up to his neck in debt with some unsavory people. To pile on Udo's problems, his estranged daughter, Julie, arrives in Paris at the most inopportune of times, thus completing the trifecta of trouble for our protagonist.
Udo must pull off the mother of all balancing acts to leave with his family - and more importantly, his life - intact.
Who Are The Cast And What Characters Do They Play?
André Holland plays Elliot Udo, the main protagonist of the series. Once a celebrated New York jazz pianist, he leaves his wife and kids behind to move to France. He is now the owner of the Paris-based jazz nightclub, The Eddy.
The series follows the turmoil in his life, thanks to his acrimonious relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Maja; his business partner, Farid's dealings with powerful - and dangerous - people; and his estranged teenage daughter Julie coming to live with him.
Joanna Kulig plays Maja, the lead singer of the in-house band at The Eddy and the on-again-off-again girlfriend of Elliot.
Amandla Stenberg, as Julie Elliot's estranged teenage daughter who comes to live with him in Paris.
Tahar Rahim plays Farid, a charismatic Frenchman and the business partner of Elliot. Due to his glib nature, he takes over the business side of The Eddy. But his silver tongue lands him in more trouble than he can talk his way out of.
Leïla Bekhti plays Amira, Farid's wife, who is unaware of the peril her husband is in.
What Do Initial Critic Reviews Say?
The miniseries has yet to debut, but initial critic screenings of the first two episodes have yielded favorable reviews.
Based on the initial screenings, the series currently holds a score of 6.6/10 on IMDb based on six user reviews.
The first two episodes of the eight-part miniseries were unveiled at the Berlin Film Festival and opened to rave reviews from critics and fans.
One such critic was Jessica Kiang, writing for The Playlist, who gave the show an 'A-' and said:
"...the show really sets itself apart, creating an equivalence between the music and the drama that vibrates and resonates the way the deepest bassline does, a contact high that you feel in the pit of your stomach. It means that after just two episodes, you may well be hooked on 'The Eddy,' addicted to the melodies and dissonances of all the notes it plays, and all the notes it does not."
Why We Are Excited About The Eddy
The Eddy has us excited for a variety of different reasons - not the least of which is Damien Chazelle standing at the helm.
Chazelle continues to prove that age doesn't necessarily equate to experience and that talent undeniable, period. Chazelle - who previously directed Whiplash, La La Land, and First Man - is in his wheelhouse with The Eddy. Judging by his previous works alone, it is safe to say that Chazelle has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt.
The Eddy is Damien Chazelle paying homage to his French roots and the culture and influences that bore him. But contrary to the polished and colorful utopia depicted in his movie La La Land, Chazelle explores the brutal and scummy underbelly of the neighborhood in which the titular club is located.
But despite the dichotomies with his previous work, The Eddy is still Damien Chazelle at heart and not the departure that one might fear at a cursory glance. The show is a musical-drama, a family drama, and a crime-drama all in one, glued together by Chazelle's vision.
The cast is not one to sleep on either. The lead character, Elliot Udo, is played by André Holland. Holland has proved himself more than capable in the Academy Award-winning movie, Moonlight, where he plays Kevin. Amandla Stenberg plays his daughter: an acclaimed actress in her own right who proved herself in The Hunger Games and The Hate U Give.
Joanna Kulig, who plays Udo's on-and-off-again girlfriend, Maja, is one of the most acclaimed Polish actresses and, through the years, has wowed audiences with her performances in Elles, Cold War, and Hanna.
Based on initial critical reviews, the show is not one to miss, and we intend to be glued to our seats in front of the TV screen when the show drops on Netflix on May 8, 2020.