20 Feet from Stardom

20 Feet from Stardom

20 Feet from Stardom

The world of backup singers, usually relegated to the shadows, is put under the spotlight in this winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary that examines their role in popular music. Relatively uncelebrated, these performers’ voices are often those providing the hooks we find ourselves singing along to, walking a fine line between displaying their talent and upstaging the stars they sing with. As well as the backup singers themselves, 20 Feet from Stardom features interviews with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Stevie Wonder and other industry folk. 

Best Documentary, Academy Awards 2014
2013Rating: M, Coarse language90 minsUSA
DocumentaryMusic

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20 Feet from Stardom / Reviews

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Director Morgan Neville delivers a music documentary to match last year’s superb Searching for Sugar Man. It’s a sizzling and ceaselessly entertaining movie, shining fascinating light on the unsung heroines of the music biz. Weaved against a cracking soundtrack are tales of the almost famous singers behind some of the greatest songs in the pop music canon, such as Darlene Love, (the uncredited voice of The Crystals), and the stupendous Merry Clayton (the female vocalist on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’).

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Variety

Variety

Wages a compelling crusade to get background singers some long-overdue recognition.

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Time Out

Time Out

Nails the sense of joie de vivre these extraordinary artists put into every note-a tribute to doing it for the love of the expression over stardom that provides incalculable amounts of inspiration.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

Generous, fascinating documentary... seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital.

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The Dissolve

The Dissolve

Neville's greatest strength is as a historian, able to sort through a wealth of details to find the pieces he needs to tell one clear, compelling story.

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Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

A hit on the festival circuit, affectionately told, Twenty Feet from Stardom is a treat.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

More than a tribute, the film is a recognition of the talent and sacrifice that many of these vocalists have invested in often challenging careers.

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