Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1989. Orion Pictures. Screenplay by Jack Baran, Jim McBride, based on the book by Myra Lewis, Murray Silver Jr.. Cinematography by Affonso Beato. Produced by Adam Fields. Production Design by David Nichols. Costume Design by Tracy Tynan. Film Editing by Lisa Day, Pembroke J. Herring, Bert Lovitt.
The charismatic music and performance style of fifties rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is captured in this energetic musical, particularly benefiting from the excellent lead performance by Dennis Quaid as Lewis. Rising to the top of the music charts, Lewis found himself beset by controversy when audiences were both delighted and enraged by his acrobatic acts while playing the piano (which he could basically do from any position) and when he married his extremely young cousin Myra (Winona Ryder). Ryder excels as the naive waif in this entertaining drama, one whose character conflicts are always interesting and whose nostalgia-inducing soundtrack will keep you be-bopping for more. Alec Baldwin appears in a supporting role as Lewis’s cousin, future televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.