Grace of My Heart
For years her songs brought fame to other people. Then she found her own voice.
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- 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:
|Starring||Illeana Douglas, Matt Dillon, Eric Stoltz & John Turturro|
|Performer:||Bruce Davison, Patsy Kensit, Chris Isaak, Bridget Fonda, Amanda De Cadenet & Peter Fonda|
|Directed by||Allison Anders|
|Edited by||James Kwei, Harvey Rosenstock & Thelma Schoonmaker|
|Screenwriting by||Allison Anders|
|Music Performer:||Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello|
|Produced by||Daniel Hassid & Ruth Charney|
|Director of Photography:||Jean-Yves Escoffier|
|Executive Production by||Martin Scorsese|
...Anders has great fun re-creating the shadow world of pre-counterculture pop... -- Rating: B
...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...
This is not the smoothest trip: the transitions are bumpy, the lip-synching's imperfect...But rough edges are more than offset by contagious vitality...It may not be precision-tooled, but it's triumphantly alive. Full Review
...Energetic and entertaining....The film boasts a terrific song score...and amusing performances by a strong cast...
Illeana Douglas grabs onto her first starring role with passion and conviction. Full Review
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Rating: 2.5/4 -- It's a big role and [Douglas is] equal to it -- but is the movie? I would have preferred a more limited story that went deeper, instead of a docudrama that covers so much ground, so relentlessly, that we grow weary. Full Review
Rating: 3.5/4 -- An intelligent, engaging comedy-drama that will have audiences tapping their toes and running off to buy the soundtrack. Full Review
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).
- 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.
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