- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 56 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: August 17, 1999
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Collectors Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 09/20/1996
"...Anders has great fun re-creating the shadow world of pre-counterculture pop..." -- Rating: B
Variety - 09/09/1996
"...Energetic and entertaining....The film boasts a terrific song score...and amusing performances by a strong cast..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/13/1996
"...GRACE marvelously re-creates that atmosphere of sweatshop creativity, both the pressure and the joy, and Douglas' portrayal of a woman fighting for her own identity and a piece of the action gives the story a solid emotional footing..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/13/1996
"...There's some good music in the film....Ileana Douglas makes a convincing witness to the transition from 'Your Hit Parade' to Woodstock. It's a big role and she's equal to it..."
GRACE OF MY HEART is larger in scale than many of writer-director Allison Anders's films, but the film bears her unmistakable signature, focusing the same attention on the intimate details of a woman's life that her smaller films do. As the film opens in the 1950s, Edna Buxton (Illeana Douglas) wins a singing contest; she's promised a recording contract, but when she arrives to New York to collect her prize, she finds out it was really a scam: the labels don't want female singers. After many frustrating auditions, she runs into a manager, Joel Millner (John Turturro), who convinces her to change her name, put her singing ambitions on hold until the market is right, and focus on writing songs for other singers. This leads her through creative and romantic collaborations with several unreliable men, played by Eric Stoltz, Bruce Davison, and Matt Dillon. The film is a heartfelt tribute to the art of songwriting and features an impressive array of songwriting talent, including Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, and Los Lobos, collaborating on songs reflecting several eras of pop music. Singers Chris Isaak and Shawn Colvin, among other musical talent, appear in small roles.
An endearing tale of a young songwriter's behind-the-scenes efforts, from her start writing for girl groups in New York's famed Brill Building in the 1950s through her eventual flowering as a solo artist in the post-feminist 1970s; a few central characters seem to be composites of actual performers such as Carole King, Phil Spector, and Brian Wilson, in this charming film from director Alison Anders (SUGAR TOWN).
Character Study |
Personal Triumph |
- Theatrical release: September 13, 1996.
- The film was shot in New York and Los Angeles.
- The film was shown at the 1996 Venice Film Festival (Special Event).
- Edna Buxton is thought to be a composite of several actual songwriters, most obviously Carole King, whose former husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, collaborated on the soundtrack.
- Several musical talents appear in small roles in the film, including singers Chris Isaak (as Matthew Lewis), Jill Sobule (as a talent show contestant), and Shawn Colvin (as the singer at the commune). In addition, the singing group Portrait appears as the Skylettes, while the band Redd Kross appears as the Riptides.
- Larry Klein, the composer of the film's score, plays a record producer in the film. He later costarred in Anders's SUGAR TOWN.
- J Mascis, who composed the score for Anders's GAS FOOD LODGING, wrote and performed the songs of Jay Phillips (Matt Dillon) and also has a small role in the film as the Riptides engineer.
- Martin Scorsese was the executive producer. His longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, also worked on the film.