(director/writer: Amy Scott; cinematographer: Jonathon Narducci; editor: Matt Thiesen; music:Heather McIntosh; cast: Brandi Carlile, Laura Dern, Sheryl Crow, Scooter Weintraub; Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Barry Barclay, Van Toffler, Stephen “Scooter” Weintraub, Bill Bottrell, Brian Morrow, Jonathan Lynch: Showtime; 2022)
“A positive portrait of Sheryl that fans should like.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Amy Scott (“Hal”) directs a loving and intimate documentary on the 60-year-old rock singer and winner of multiple music awards, Sheryl Crow.
The rocker started out as an elementary school music teacher in the St. Louis suburbs of Fenton, Missouri, and was doing commercial jingles for McDonalds and then became a part of Michael Jackson’s team of back up singers that traveled with him in 1987 to Tokyo. After her 1992 solo album failed, she joined up for a few years with the Los Angeles group called the “Tuesday Night Music Club.” Her next effort as a solo artist came in the mid-nineties as her song on her group album “All I Wanna Do” became a hit and she was on her way to establishing herself as a rock icon but not without facing a few controversies and criticism for being a schemer (she drew attention with the unfortunate deaths of her boyfriend Kevin Gilbert and the suicide of songwriter John O’Brien), and battling breast cancer.
Crow soon emerged as a polished bluesy singer with songs like “Leaving Las Vegas” and in “What I Can Do For You” to become a bona fide rock star.
The film tells her story through interviews with her (the bulk of the film) and interviews with close allies like Keith Richards, Laura Dern (briefly her roommate), Joe Walsh, Emmylou Harris, and Brandi Carlile. There were also behind-the-scenes cinema vérité on the road and in her studio, never before seen archival footage that takes in 20 years of touring.
She’s seen as friendly, generous and warm. Those in her corner appearing in the film also include her longtime manager and collaborator Scooter Weintraub (saved by him from Michael Jackson’s underworld connected manager Frank DiLeo, who made her uneasy when he tried to force himself on her as manager and lover); Tuesday Night Music Club member Bill Bottrell; and her parents Bernice and Wendell Crow. The film also notes her failed romantic engagements and adoption of two boys. The result is a positive portrait that fans of Sheryl should like.
It opened this year’s SXSW Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 5/6/2022 GRADE: B –