After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in ... See full summary »
A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life - a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted - not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom - a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician - that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
This is for the most part an interesting film but the main problem is how the story seems to veer off track and not pay enough attention to what was interesting in the first place. Director and writer Maggie Greenwald later in the film interjects modern subplots that only serve the audience to rail against the obviousness of those ideas. The things that I liked about this film are the beautiful cinematography of the Appalachian mountains that really enhance the realistic quality of the film and of course the music. The music is the central ingredient in this story and the Scottish and Irish ballads add an indelible flavor that really make it the primary reason to view this film. In fact, musicians Taj Mahal and Iris Dement have roles in this film. Janet McTeer is well cast as Lily the musicologist that is recording these songs. This is definitely a better performance than her Oscar nominated role in a very mediocre and totally overrated film called "Tumbleweeds". She adds intelligence and strength to her character and its vital to the film. The things that I feel hurt the film are the romance between Lily and Tom (Aidan Quinn). It comes out of left field and is never really believable. And then their is the lesbian romance between Lilys sister and her coworker who are teachers. This is where the film wanders off into another direction and the main focus of the film gets lost. We really didn't need these contrivances added to the story and it hurts the film. Not a bad film but the story and focus seem to go into another area. Too bad!
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