Parents' Guide to

Grace of My Heart

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Charming tale of songwriter finding her voice has profanity.

Movie R 1996 116 minutes
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This is a charming, entertaining, and inspiring chronicle of a female singer/songwriter's highs and lows during the tumultuous 1960s. While Grace of my Heart isn't the most historically accurate chronicle of Carole King, the Brill Building, the breakdown Brian Wilson experienced while trying to write material for "Smile," and early 1970s Laurel Canyon, there's a higher truth at work here, one that addresses the boys' club nature of the music industry (especially then) and the groundbreaking work of the songwriters and artists who used pop music as a vehicle by which to express the changing times and attitudes, at a time when songs were supposed to be sugar-coated entertainment that didn't dare address such taboo topics as extramarital affairs and closeted lesbians.

The acting is superb throughout -- Illeana Douglas plays a driven and talented woman who does her best to maintain her good humor and sanity in the midst of men who are condescending producers, philandering husbands, and tortured songwriters losing their grip on reality. As a loose version of Phil Spector, John Turturro brings a kind of goofy and endearing eccentricity to the role. He, like all the equally flawed men in her life, sees the good and talent in Edna Buxton/Denise Waverly that she often doesn't quite see in herself.

Movie Details

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