Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1996. Cappa Production, Gramercy Pictures, Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Allison Anders. Cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier. Produced by Ruth Charny, Daniel Hassid. Music by Larry Klein. Production Design by Francois Seguin. Costume Design by Susan L. Bertram. Film Editing by James Y. Kwei, Harvey Rosenstock, Thelma Schoonmaker.
Despite the fact that this film loses much of its energy and verve in its last third, Illeana Douglas‘s fantastic performance should be enough to put it over for even the most demanding audience member. She plays a Carole King-like songwriter in the sixties who is discovered in a local music talent competition and brought to the big city to write songs in the famed Brill building for established and emerging musical acts. She dreams of being a singer, but her hopes of crooning her own tunes are put on the back burner while she supports others with her phenomenal talent. Eric Stoltz and Matt Dillon play two of the men in this boy-crazy girl’s life, and the soundtrack is overflowing with wonderful songs, most of them written directly for the film. Allison Anders has yet to make her best film, but it’s obvious that this story comes straight from her heart and because of this is very affecting. Patsy Kensit has a marvelous supporting role as a colleague of Douglas’s, and John Turturro is hilarious in a bad wig as her boss.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1996