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Mickey Hardaway

Written by: Marcellus Cox |   Directed by: Marcellus Cox |  Genre: Drama

Mikey Hardaway is a young black artist living in Los Angeles, and he is talented – very talented. Like a lot of young artists, sometimes their worst enemies are their very own families—especially “fathers” who have a huge chip on their shoulders. It’s a well-known fact that making a career as an artist in any genre takes a full-time commitment – and a lifetime of perseverance. With that written, Mikey’s father has made it perfectly clear that he will not be attending art school. No way, no how. Through a series of flashbacks, we find out that things are not ok at home. Mickey’s father takes his anger out on the whole family – even one of Mikey’s teachers gets a beating for driving him home to have a talk with his parents. Turns out that this teacher, Mr. Sweeney, will play a significant role later in his life.

As Mikey is in his senior year, he receives a scholarship to an art school. When his father throws away the letter, that is the last straw and the last day that he spends at home. It is not a pleasant goodbye, to say the least. As time goes on, he gets his animations into print and starts to make a bit of a living. He moves into a Motel and by chance, runs into his old teacher Mr. Sweeney. Shocked but not surprised at where Mikey’s living, he offers to help by getting him a job as an art director at a community center. This is where he meets Grace.

Grace is kind and beautiful and believes in his work. Around this same time, Mikey gets his work into an LA paper and signs a contract that he will regret later. No surprise that his work is stolen, and he lashes out at the publisher in a violent way. Things are not going well for Mikey. Grace convinces him to talk to a psychiatrist Dr. Harden. Sessions start off well, but Mikey has turned to drinking and is obsessed with all those who have wronged him. Not even Grace can convince him to channel his anger into something positive. To say this story takes a tragic turn would be an understatement.

This film is so well done that I had to check and double-check if it was a true story. It doesn’t appear to be, but still, even though it’s fictional, “Mickey Hardaway” represents the many artists who have been screwed over by shady businessmen – or really bad family values, or probably the worst of all, a total lack of self-confidence. A lack of faith in themselves. Technically this movie is totally professional and feels much bigger than it probably is. All the acting is top-notch, with a great script as the jumping-off point. The directing is also near flawless, in my opinion. The music and editing are also wonderful, making this film a must-see for any drama enthusiast. It’s also in black and white, which I love – except for a few minutes, which works really well. I give this film four and a half stars. Well done, and thank you for reading.

Mickey Hardaway Feature Trailer 2 from Marcellus Cox on Vimeo.

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