Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Twenty Feet from Stardom

Twenty Feet from Stardom, Morgan Neville's Oscar winning documentary, features an assemblage of some lovely and talented women (Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Lisa Fischer among others) who have spent their impressive and mostly unheralded careers in the background abbetting the careers of their immeasurably more popular frontmen, some of whom appear here (Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Sting) as they tell their tales of woe in the merciless music industry. The film features some great footage (most memorably in some reminiscences between Clayton and Jagger on their recording of "Gimme Shelter") and some of the sob stories do strike a chord (i.e. Love hearing her voice on the radio while cleaning houses for a living) but the collective accounts of heartbreak become redundant and, in light of a sequence displaying their solo efforts, regretful as it is to say not every star was made for the limelight.