One of the best films I saw at Sundance this year was Morgan Neville‘s documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom. The film focuses on backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, and Judith Hill. They have worked with some of the biggest acts of all-time, and now these women finally get the spotlight in a feature that explores music history, race, and fame in an endearing and fascinating tale. The trailer shows all of that, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg for this must-see movie.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. Twenty Feet from Stardom opens June 14th.
The title “Twenty Feet from Stardom” implies a missed opportunity at being famous; to be so close and yet so far. But the business careers of backup singers are by far the least interesting aspect of Morgan Neville‘s documentary. Where Twenty Feet from Stardom shines is in using the perspective of backup singers to explore music history, race, collaboration, and performance. Backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Tata Vega share their bittersweet stories of how the business may have kept them down, but that there’s arguably more value in singing as part of a group. The claim never sounds disingenuous as their passion always rings loud and clear.