Reviews

20 Feet From Stardom

5

Let's hear it for the backing singers...

In the spirit of many great rock docs, Morgan Neville’s Oscar-winning account of the unsung backing singers to the stars gives the underdogs their due. Mostly African-American women from gospel backgrounds, the likes of Darlene Love and Merry Clayton elevated the music of the Stones, Stevie Wonder and others but rarely found their own fame. As Neville asks why, potent themes of racism, sexism and the gap between talent/success emerge.

But the tone is celebratory: when the ageing singers reunite on an impromptu yet pitch-perfect singalong, their voices make your soul leap a little.

Film Details