20 Feet From Stardom
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +2

Music documentary by Morgan Neville, featuring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Patti Austin, and many famed singers including Sting, David Bowie, Sheryl Crowe, Mick Jagger Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

PREVIEW REVIEW: You know what stood out for me? The film reminds us that so many singers got their start in church; the Sunday choir having been a forum where singers could test their abilities. During one scene, a gifted lady expresses her inmost feeling, ďGod gave me this talent and I intend to use it."

The 91-minute documentary showcases glorious music and talent from both the famous and the not-so, each demonstrating (Iíll use the word again) glorious musical knowledge and ability. Different forms of music are spotlighted, including Gospel, R&B, and, of course, Rock. Even if youíre not an appreciator of each musical category represented, I think youíll find it fun to watch performers shine while doing what they do best.

What can we learn from a documentary about backup singers? It is subtle indictment of those who use their talent to glorify themselves. In a way, it also indicts us, for who among us hasnít been caught in that self-indulgent trap? And in a way, it speaks to us as we see some frustrated by that gulf between them and those who have achieved the spotlight doing exactly what they do. Again, who canít relate to that feeling?

Ultimately, this Oscar nominee for Best Documentary is a feel good movie, and except for a few minor expletives and two obscenities spoken by one man, itís a clean, instructive, and enlightening movie experience.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Gil Friesen Productions

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: A few minor expletives and two uses of the f-word.
Profanity: None
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and up.

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