Movie Review: 20 Feet From Stardom




2014 Academy Awards Winner

Best Documentary

Ever wonder why anyone would want to be a backup singer?  Maybe they aren’t good enough to be the star out front? Maybe they are working their way to the front, or maybe they are happy where they are. Maybe. The film, 20 Feet From Stardom, will answer those questions, and you may be surprised by the answers! This film follows the lives and careers of prolific backup singers, voices you have surely heard on the radio through the years, but may not have known their names. Their talent and their gifts are certain, although their careers are not always so. Follow them on their journey, whether one of heartbreak or triumph.

Released on January 14, 2014, 20 Feet From Stardom is a creative film that uncovers the realities of working as backup a singer. This movie artfully follows the stories of familiar names such as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer,  Claudia Lennear, Tata Vega, and more.  It also features interviews with stars such as Sting, Stevie Wonder, and Mick Jagger as they talk about background singers they have known through the years. As you watch the life stories of these artists, you will also learn about the evolution of backup singing and how it has shaped contemporary music.

20 Feet From Stardom manages to enrapture its audience simultaneously in both the very human stories and the experience of learning what life is like as a backup singer. Award winning director Morgan Neville skillfully captivates the audience by including clips of performances, soundtracks to match the artist, and special interviews with the stars. Not only is this film captivating, but in the same way it is informative, and a must-see for anyone seeking to be a singer or a musician. The amount of talent and knowledge the audience becomes familiar with in just 90 minutes is definitely worth the investment of time, so be sure to put this film on your list of “stuff to watch!”


View the trailer for 20 Feet From Stardom:

Film Review by Caroline Meisner

Caroline Meisner

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