Monday, July 15, 2013

98% 20 Feet From Stardom

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (1)

The movie takes its cues from Standing in the Shadows of Motown, another act of pop-culture revisionism that tried to give musical credit where it was due.

Just about everything in this movie is right. And anybody who gives a rip about unsung heroines of popular music and giving credit when credit's overdue had better come up with a good excuse not to see it.

You may never hear the Rolling Stones's Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger's and Clayton's separate accounts of the recording of the song.

The enthusiasm and love of music on display is just unavoidable. "20 Feet" may not get the whole story, but it gets some good ones.

Music documentarian Morgan Neville uses a mix of live interviews and archival footage to let the singers, and their music, tell their stories of vocal triumph and thwarted ambition.

You know all those doo-doo-doos and whoa-whoas-whoas you hear in pop hits? Without them, supplied by the likes of Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, you likely wouldn't be singing along to the songs you hear on your car radio.

This is a fascinating doc for pop, soul, R&B and rock fans, for it peels back the often unfair layers of the music business like the skins on an onion. Sometimes, it'll make you cry to witness how terribly these talents were treated.

It's important to finally put names and faces to the voices of these women because, without them, countless songs would sound horrible.

Neville's greatest strength is as a historian, able to sort through a wealth of details to find the pieces he needs to tell one clear, compelling story.

Salutes songs that wouldn't work without the back-ups and, in effect, turn us all into back-up singers.

Not the deepest documentary you're likely to come across this year -- in fact, it's not deep at all -- but it may well be the most enjoyable one.

The transcendent joy and agonizing heartbreak of making music - and trying to make it in music - have seldom been captured as vividly as in "20 Feet from Stardom."

If music has the power to connect, "Twenty Feet From Stardom" shows it's those backup voices making the connection.

Lovers of classic R&B and rock will never get tired of revisiting this movie and its bonanza of performance footage.

For once, the spotlight shines on these brilliant women who spent most of their careers on the outskirts of fame with minimal fortune to show for their efforts.

Jubilant, informative, and teeming with iconic music, 20 Feet from Stardom is a riveting sit, blasting a spotlight on singers worthy of the intense heat.

Following Fisher and Hill verit? style on their busy days freshens the nostalgia. . . Informative and entertaining, gives well-deserved r-e-s-p-e-c-t. No auto-tuning or dubs.

20 Feet from Stardom is a thorough--to the point of feeling a bit long--document on the craft.

This is one of those documentaries that you just wish could keep going.

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