20 Feet From Stardom

"Extraordinary"

20 Feet From Stardom Review


Entertaining and uplifting, this Oscar-winning documentary tells the unknown story of the back-up singers who made classic records so memorable. Packed with lively, engaging people and fantastic music, the film also offers a sharp look at the music industry over the past 60 years in parallel with the fight for civil rights in America.

In the 1950s, background singers were usually white girls who read sheet-music perfectly. But they were quickly replaced with black artists who learned their craft in churches and could improvise harmonies with the lead singers. Suddenly, pop songs were infused with passion and life, as a handful of unknown singers performed backing vocals on virtually every classic hit since then. With their powerhouse voices and larger-than-life personalities, most have also tried to find success as solo artists. Others prefer to stay in the shadows.

For example, even though established stars acknowledge that she has more talent than any of them, Lisa Fischer prefers the quiet life out of the spotlight. Other belters like Merry Clayton, Tata Vega and Claudia Lennear can be heard on hundreds of timeless classics and are known throughout the industry, but never managed to get their solo careers off the ground. Judith Hill is a young artist who does soaring backing work while waiting for her own music to take off. And Darlene Love is the exception who managed both long background and solo careers.

These gifted singers are also terrific storytellers, taking us on a tour of their work over the decades with anecdotes that are hilarious, jaw-droppingly revelatory and sometimes deeply moving. And the artists they've worked for (including Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger) have superb stories to recount as well. Along with behind-the-scenes glimpses of hits from Young Americans to Sweet Home Alabama, the film fluidly explores the larger issues both in the music industry and in society at large. So by the end of the film, we're in love with these women whose voices we already knew so well.

Watch '20 Feet From Stardom' Trailer


 



Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

In Theaters: Tuesday 25th June 2013

Budget: $1000 thousand

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers

Starring: as Herself, as Himself, as Himself, as Herself, as Himself, as Himself, as Herself, as Himself, Stevvi Alexander as Herself, as Herself, as Himself, as Herself, Lisa Fischer as Herself

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.