Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Review: ‘Mary J Blige—The London Sessions’

Clocking in at 45 minutes, Mary J Blige—The London Sessions really doesn’t feel like a documentary but more like an extended version of “Making the Video.” But whenever Mary is talking into the camera, she gets really personal regarding her musical ambitions on her current album of the same name (which could also mean her life ambitions), released in the fall of 2014 to strong reviews.

Shot completely in black and white, we see Mary travel from one recording studio to another via London cabs, as she enlists help from Rodney Jerkins, Guy Lawrence and Sam Smith who gushes over the opportunity to work with Blige, not realizing Blige is in awe of Mary the British crooner’s talents. It’s strength lies when Mary is recording in the studio, giving the audience a real life look at the recording process of a major talent such as Blige, which oftentimes isn’t seen by the public.

As Mary forgets about the camera following her, she even breaks down at one point during the songwriting process and apologizes for crying for the first time in a week “in front of anyone.”

Access from a performer of this magnitude is rarely granted but like her music, Mary J Blige—The London Sessions is a rarely seen look into the workings of an R&B genius. Don’t expect a deep look into the person, which would surely provide an even better documentary where we as fans can have insight into her life story, where her deeply moving personal songs come from. That’s the real Mary J Blige we definitely want to see on film next time.

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Author: Rob Perez

Rob Perez is a freelance writer who has been with The Music Universe early on. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, you will find him writing reviews and live tweeting awards shows.