Queen Latifah portrays jazz vocalist Bessie Smith in this made-for-TV biopic about the "Empress of the Blues." The film charts Smith's rise to prominence in the 1920s, mentored by singer Ma Rainey (Mo'Nique) before striking out on her own to become a powerful recording artist in her own right. Meanwhile, her outsized personality comes to bear as she navigates a turbulent life marked by scandal due to her bisexuality. With Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English.