Review: ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’

This immensely enjoyable biography of songstress Tina Turner [from her and Kurt Loder's book I, Tina] is a passionate personal and professional drama that hits both the high and low notes of an extraordinary career.

This immensely enjoyable biography of songstress Tina Turner [from her and Kurt Loder’s book I, Tina] is a passionate personal and professional drama that hits both the high and low notes of an extraordinary career.

Young Tina, a.k.a. Anna Mae Bullock (Angela Bassett), is first seen as a precocious youngster. She is left in the care of her grandmother after her mother (Jenifer Lewis) goes off to the big city.

It’s also in St. Louis, circa 1958, that she encounters charismatic R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne). Part of his act involves coaxing comely women to the mike. When Anna Mae lets loose, Ike sees a potent meal ticket.

Nothing in Bassett’s earlier repertoire suggested the consummate skill she brings to the part. It is a full-bodied, nuanced portrayal. Fishburne as Ike Turner is also pitch perfect.

1993: Nominations: Best Actor (Laurence Fishburne), Actress (Angela Bassett)

What's Love Got to Do with It

Production

Touchstone. Director Brian Gibson; Producer Doug Chapin, Barry Krost; Screenplay Kate Lanier; Camera Jamie Anderson; Editor Stuart Pappe; Music Stanley Clarke; Art Director Stephen Altman

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Angela Bassett Larry Fishburne Vanessa Bell Calloway Jenifer Lewis Phyllis Yvonne Stickney Khandi Alexander
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