Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in the biopic “Judy,” and the animated Yeti movie “Abominable” and the music doc “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including Renée Zellweger’s tour de force, soon-to-be-Oscar-nominated portrayal of “The Wizard of Oz” star in the biopic “Judy,” the animated homesick Yeti movie “Abominable” and the music doc “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in the biopic “Judy,” and the animated Yeti movie “Abominable” and the music doc “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in the biopic “Judy,” and the animated Yeti movie “Abominable” and the music doc “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”
Linda Ronstadt was one of the voices of the latter part of the twentieth century. The pure, gorgeous vocals that were once a staple at the top of the Billboard charts has been silenced by Parkinson’s disease but a new documentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” serves as a reminder of a pioneer who danced to the beat of a different drum.
The Arizona-born singer made headlines as much for her off-stage life as much as for her on-stage work, but the film wisely focusses on her legacy, the music that made her a superstar. The story begins at home with a family who played and sang all types of music from rock and roll, rhythm and blues, gospel, opera, country and mariachi. Later, those influences mixed and mingled in the folk-rock trio the Stone Poneys. Their biggest success, a cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drum,” became Ronstadt’s first and only hit with the band and she soon left to forge a solo career that would see her become the first female rock star and the first woman to have five platinum albums in a row. “Linda was the queen,” says Bonnie Raitt. “She was like what Beyoncé is now.”
At the peak of her fame she grew tired of selling out arenas and the constant grind of being on the road. Looking for new challenges she took to the Broadway, appearing in “Pirates of Penzance” on stage opposite Kevin Kline. “Gilbert and Sullivan? Can you imagine another rock star who has the guts to go out there and do that kind of musical comedy?” says Jackson Browne. “To her it was a mountain to climb.”
From operetta she went on to explore the American songbook, interpreting the songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald among others. “I didn’t think it was a good idea, not because she couldn’t do it,” says Warner bros executive Joe Smith, “but because we had this run going with rock and roll and country rock records.”
The portrait painted of Ronstadt is one of an artist more concerned with music than her career. She was once the highest paid women in music but left that behind in favour of following her passions, whether it’s making a record of traditional Mexican songs (which became the largest selling Spanish-language record in history to that date), roots rock or singing with her pals Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
The film closes on an emotional note with the revelation that Parkinson’s disease has robbed her of her instrument. “I still sing in mind my but I can’t do it physically,” she says.
Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman use archival footage, mixed with new interviews with many of the singer’s friends and colleagues, to complete the picture. It’s wonderful to hear the music, to be reminded of the width and breadth of Ronstadt’s daring and talent, but the commentary tends toward the “She was the best singer I’ve ever heard,” style rather than providing much insight into what makes the singer tick. At the end, however, it doesn’t matter much, as the music, in all its variation and strength, tells the story in a way that suits Ronstadt best.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Aladdin,” “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the live action remake of “Aladdin,” the wild and wooly “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including Will Smith in the live action remake of “Aladdin,” the wild and wooly “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Music documentaries often veer into hagiography, looking back with rose coloured glasses at their subject. There are heaps of high praise in “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind,” a new career retrospective from co-directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, but right from the outset it displays an honesty rare in authorized bios.
After a few bars of his chauvinistic ’60s hit “For Lovin’ Me” Lightfoot, watching vintage footage, demands it be shut off. “That’s a very offensive song for a guy to write who was married with a couple of kids,” he says before adding, “I guess I don’t like who I am.”
It’s a startling beginning to a movie that uses his music and a series of celebrity talking heads like Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, Geddy Lee, Anne Murray and Alec Baldwin, who helpfully adds, “This was a guy who sang poems,” to tell the story. Traditionally Lightfoot’s enigmatic approach to his biography has left many questions unanswered in the media. That doesn’t change much here, although he seems to have allowed open access to his home and is occasionally candid in the contemporary interviews. “I regret a lot of things,” he says near the end of the film. “I caused emotional trauma in people, particularly some women, the women I was closest to. I feel very, very badly about it.”
“If You Could Read My Mind” doesn’t skip over sensitive biographical points. His relationship with Cathy Evelyn Smith, a woman he loved who was later accused of killing John Belushi and the infidelities that marred his personal life are examined, although with a light touch that respects his privacy.
Supporting the storytelling are interestingly curated images. From rare clips of his early performances on the CBC and on the stages of Yonge Street taverns and Yorkville coffee houses and archival photos of the legendary, star-studded parties he threw at his Rosedale home, to old footage of his parents and behind-the-scenes images of his acting debut in Desperado—“You’ll never win an Oscar,” said co-star Bruce Dern, “but you’re fun to work with.”—the doc offers a comprehensive visual essay of Canadiana, Gordon Lightfoot style.
Ultimately the best documentary of Lightfoot’s storied life is his work, tunes like “Sundown” and “Rainy Day People” that suggest everything he has to say is in his songs. “Your personal experience and your emotional stress,” he says, “finds its way in by way of your unconscious mind over into the mind of reality and translates itself into your lyrics. And you don’t even know that is happening.”