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Grace of My Heart 1996 ****

Films that turn into Broadway musicals are a diverse bunch, but its not always the deserving that get rewarded; Grace of My Heart would be an ideal candidate. Allison Anders’ film is a fictionalised account of the rise to fame of singer/songwriter Carol Klein who became Carole King; in this version, Illeana Douglas is Edna Buxton who becomes Denise Waverly. John Turturro becomes Phil Spector and Matt Dillon is a Brian Wilson-style maverick pop performer. The original songs by Elis Costello and Burt Bacharach are a treat to listen to, and the period detail is carefully threaded through Edna’s struggle to be taken seriously in a male-driven industry. Grace of My Heart barely registered on popular consciousness when it was released; maybe streaming will help this beautiful film find a place in music history.


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