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Grace of My Heart (1996).

February 26, 2010

The Scoop:
This film got dismissed by a lot of critics, but it probably is writer/director Allison Anders’ best work.

The story follows the emotional journey of a Carole King-ish songwriter (Ileana Douglas) who goes through years of turmoil throughout the 1960s and 1970s before finally finding her own voice, both personally and professionally. The men in her life are played by Matt Dillon, Eric Stoltz and John Turturro, but it’s Douglas, who isn’t nearly as big of a star as she should be, who steals the show. She gives a wonderful performance, to compliment Anders’ fine script. And the original songs, written by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, capture the sounds of the times wonderfully and will have you humming them long after the movie is over.

There is also more fun to be had by trying to figure out which characters are based on which real-life music industry figures from the ’60s and ’70s. An all-around winner.

Best Line:
“He smokes some grass. He uses some psychedelics. He uses peyote, but he is down on hard drugs.”

Side Note:
The list of cameos in this film seems to go on forever, including Bridget and Peter Fonda, and a host of rock/folk musicians — Chris Isaak, J Mascis (from Dinosaur Jr.), Jill Sobule, Shawn Colvin, China Kantner and members of Redd Kross.

Companion Viewing:
“Gas Food Lodging” (1992).

Links:
IMDb.
Watch it on Hulu.

Take a Look:
A fan-made trailer:

“God Give Me Strength,” which should’ve won an Oscar but didn’t. (Vocals by Kristen Vigard):

“My Secret Love”:

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