Grace of My Heart
This film really gives a great behind the scenes look at the pop making process and is believed to be loosely inspired by the life of Carole King
Directed by: Allison Anders
Cast: Illeana Douglas, John Turturro, Matt Dillion, Eric Stolz, Bridget Fonda, Chris Isaak
The film begins with a talent contest where Illeana Douglas (Denise Waverly) befriends a black female singer, who receives her gown. Threads of comedy weave in and out of this cinematic master piece, along with the music as this is a songwriting film.
Illeana wins the singing contest and receives a recording contract. After 11 months, she realizes the industry is not looking for female singers like her; they have singers resembling her already and want to move in a different direction. Now, the industry is looking for male bands. Luckily, John Turturro (Joel Millner) is her saving grace and remains her guardian angel throughout the film.
They meet in the famous Brill Building where Illeana and John forge a great career and write music together. Most of the song writing Illeana produced was for three black singers, one of which was the original singer she competed against in the beginning of the film.
This film really gives a great behind the scenes look at the pop making process and is believed to be loosely inspired by the life of Carole King. Illeana takes us guides us through the story with confidence and great talent; she sings wonderfully, making the audience feel as if they were in studio during the song producing process.
There is a parallel story going on in Illeana Douglas’ life. She is led astray from her career by a series of relationships consisting of two marriages. Her first partnership is with beatnik radical Eric Stolz who is a brilliant songwriter but can’t remain monogamous. Next, Illeana had a relationship with DJ Bruce Davidson a married man, and finally surfer Matt Dillon who she took as her second husband. The saving grace remains John Turturro who stayed with Illeana keeping her focused on her songwriting career.