Grace of My Heart (1996)

Illeana Douglas (TO DIE FOR) gives a command performance as Denise 
Waverly, a singer-songwriter trying to launch a musical career in 
the late '50's, when such combinations were unheard of.  After an 
aspiring producer (John Turturro) pitches the prospect of putting 
her words in other people's mouths, she's soon churning out the 
hits in Broadway's fabled Brill Building.  Director Allison Anders 
(GAS FOOD LODGING and one of the more-dreadful segments of FOUR 
ROOMS) piles on the drama.  Her slick, surface-level approach also 
keeps us from getting close to the characters, even the one played 
by the marvelous Ms. Douglas.  (You name the fate and it happens to 
Denise Waverly.  And then she writes a song about it.)  What really 
reeks, though, is a sound recording that you can't believe is real 
for a minute.  Each singer seems dubbed and each song sounds like a 
track from a freshly pressed compact disc.  Just terrible.  Sure, 
Phil Spector might appreciate this "wall of clean noise," but, for 
the sensitive ear, it's a distraction that's all but unlistenable.  
Not good in a movie about music.  (Rated "R"/115 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: September 23, 1996

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