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In this thinly disguised Joplin biography, Bette Midler outdoes herself as an out-of-control, incredibly talented, self-destructive singer who turns to the bottle, sex, and anything else she can to hide from her intense inner pain. It sounds like a cliche, and by now it is, but that was Janis--and Bette does her one better. Her angst shines through with great poignancy, even when she is belting out hit after hit, responding to her audience as though she is making love.
Hard living, hard boozing, and bent on destroying herself, the singer has us riveted to her story. Her tearful phone call to the father who never approved of her is one of the high points of the film: Bette pulls out the stops.
Alan Bates is divine as always as the singer's manager, but this film belongs to Bette. If you are not aware of Midler's incredibly wide-ranged talent, this is the perfect movie. It can make you a lifelong fan.
Loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin, the film doesn't really go much into her upbringing, origins and rise to stardom, but moreso shows her demise at the hands of her greedy manager who simply won't let her quit... She does her best to "get away" (acting out, escaping, wreaking havoc, falling in love, going on drinking binges) between the concernts, but can never quite escape... and always winds back on the stage, which is where she shines and perhaps the only place she was meant to be... and with a band like that, why not ? I remember playing the soundtrack over and over again as a child. Incidentally two other great "concert films" were made in this era, THE JAZZ SINGER (starring Neil Diamond as a rock and roll singer who marries a shikseh and decides to strut his stuff on Yom Kippur to the aghast of his alte kakker father) and the (deservedly) much forgotten WAY OF THE WORLD, featuring live concert footage of Earth Wind and Fire... The BLUES BROTHERS would follow a few years later...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Rose, 1979 film
This drama was inspired by the life of Janis Joplin, whose career was cut short by liquor and drugs (like other show business performers). Read more
One of my favorite films. The performances by Bette Midler, Frederic Forrest, Alan Bates, and Harry Dean Stanton are an acting master class.Published 3 months ago by cattgirl813
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