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Songcatcher
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Reviews & Ratings for
Songcatcher More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

When does a director sell out?

Author: Film_Listener from Poughkeepsie, NY
21 November 2003

I'm suspicious when a director like Maggie Greenwald comes up with a novel and exciting idea and some great song repertory for a film about an important music-making experience - and then ends up with this. How can we as an audience ever know who is responsible for saying "well, it needs to have such and such..."? Clearly, that's what I see all over this - producers trying to put together a film that will "sell" while still giving the director a modicum of what she started out with in the first place. I can hardly believe Sundance gave this a standing ovation. What were they thinking?! Is a movie about a liberated woman who's lifeblood is music and recording songs and categorizing them - who thinks like a scientist and learns to really LOVE the subject she's analyzing - but who then suddenly "gives it all up" because she's found true love in the hills, is this acceptable? This is ridiculous. If I were a woman I would stand up and boo as loudly as I could. I think we need to bring booing back. It's time that Lions Gate films and many other producers get the message. The San Francisco reviewer got it exactly right. This is a great subject but filmed for the lowest common denominator.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Interesting movie about the oppression of women in all aspects of life

7/10
Author: lingmeister from New York City
23 July 2002

A movie which shows the women being oppressed at every stage they are in, but still fighting back and striving for what they are entitled to despite of all the setbacks.

The music is really great too, but some people who don't like hillbilly music won't like the extent of the music in this movie.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Anti-male screed masquerades as a film about music.

Author: AltonMann
29 December 2001

I must admit that I could barely force myself to finish watching this miserably sexist piece of junk. I came to it interested in its exploration of the Appalachian musical tradition, and found instead a series of male caricatures, which basically suggests the world would be a fine place were it not for the presence of men. I have never seen a film more relentless in its one-note propagandizing of this sexist viewpoint. Even if it were a celebration of female values and lesbian love, it would not have to populate the landscape with worthless and hateful men. (Aiden Quinn is the token sympathetic male) Most repellant is to use a fine musical tradition as a pretext for such vituperative, male hating sentiments. This false pretext cheapens the film beyond redemption. It is to be hoped that these filmmakers don't get another opportunity to produce yet another dishonest piece of work. Shame on them. The music is wonderful, however so buy the soundtrack and skip the movie (fine performance by Pat Carroll, however).

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

is this a comedy?

2/10
Author: oceanhawk02 from United States
27 April 2008

A lover of the music, I was looking forward to the movie. I admired the credentials of the writer/director and music director. I honestly think that this was a heartfelt, sincere effort to showcase one of America's cultural treasures.What went wrong? Not sure - but I think the writer-director was caught up in some sort of "The Emperor's Clothes" situation - no one willing to tell her she was over the top and off base - (catch her commentary with her husband/music director - the poor guy cannot get a word in) Anyway...the movie.... shortly into it (3-5 minutes) I was coldly subjected to the oh-so phony bug eyed expression of the lead as she was passed over for a promotion. I actually hit rerun to view it again, because I thought I had missed a comment or something. Nope. no funny build-up. Just this Saturday Night Live over the top expression of shock. I kept watching, hoping that this was turning into a comedy of sorts.... The music pulled me in. But the acting had me rolling on the floor- along with the amateur plot and melodramatic editing. Every single character (and scenario) was a biased, overplayed stereotype. No exceptions. I do not know how these actors got through this without slitting their throats...Granny with her "potions" and road kill stew,the abandoned pregnant bleeding mother of a brood of barefoot hillbillies, and the esteemed doctor with her frustrated old maid- turned wanton wild mountain woman stuff (after having sex with the gruff bearded ex coal miner)- the joke complete with her running around in pantaloons and mussed up hair (and weird body language) (not to mention a plethora of bizarre bug eyed expressions)- did the director really ask this actress to keep popping out her eyes?PLEASE! AND THEN - OH MY GOD - they did NOT have a lesbian love scene!? Let me peek through my fingers ( by this time over my eyes) - did they? yup... a lesbian love scene - among teachers... a moment of silence for this one...................... the music was good and I am buying the soundtrack....but I have rarely seen such a mess on the big screen....a shame really...these mountain people (my ancestors) deserve a masterpiece. Next time this subject is filmed, my hope is that maybe the writing-directing-editing will be an ensemble production - with many voices finding one path to artistic mastery, not just the singular egotistical voice of one writer/director, who may indeed have heart, but is not talented enough for the task.

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11 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Songs Hide The Real Agenda Of This Film

3/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
28 May 2007

Janet McTeer plays a 1960s "musicologist: who goes to the Smokey Mountains, loves the music and wants to document it. Along the way to paying tribute to this historic and wonderful mountain music, the story gets sidetrack by one major issue: out-of-control feminist bias.

Hey, you want to make a "chick flick," fine - there are a number of them out there, but don't disguise this agenda by passing it off as some tribute to music, or the mountains.

No, this is out-and-out male bashing, complete with only one decent male character (played by Aiden Quinn), the rest all being unlikeable guys. The women are all wonderful, of course, and we can even see two of them kissing. Oh, wow!!!

Hey, loved the music and the scenery, but this is nothing but a Lesbian propaganda piece and - even worse - it's simply a boring film.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nearly Real!

Author: cuznjan from Sevier County, TN
23 May 2002

As a lover of the old ballads, this was WONDERFUL! The dialect, for once, was accurate. It was so good, I watched it twice, and will recommend it to others. I know that most of the movie follows reality. Celebrating the culture, the heritage, is something that we appreciate. It would be a big seller in Appalachia IF the few seconds of nudity and the two women kissing were edited. That is still not acceptable behavior. Consider the audience you could reach.

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A veiled attempt to promote lesbianism

1/10
Author: cfeather from United States
24 January 2005

This movie is supposed to be about the collection of folk music from an identified section of the "Southern Mountains," or Appalachia.

In typical Hollywood fashion, it presents the people of this land as hard-drinking, suspicious of outsiders, bearing kids as kids and fundamental Christian extremists.

The whole point of this movie is not about collecting songs but to make the viewer sympathetic to the lesbian relationship between the two teachers. The movie should have an R rating at a minimum because of the gross lesbian love making scene in this film. Further, the whole premise that a couple of the people in the community would burn down the school because of this lesbian relationship between the teachers is one more stereotyping of these people and the Christian faith found in the mountains.

I was really disappointed in this film because it is nothing more than pro-lesbian and pro-feminism propaganda.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

So much potential, so much sadness.............

Author: xyscaling from United States
29 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie had so much going for it. I loved the music, the cinematography, the acting, the sound, the production, but I was really disappointed in this film because it is nothing more than pro-lesbian propaganda. This was so very unnecessary in the story.

The film should have received an R rating because of this part. It was presented in such a way that made the mountain people look overly primitive. Much like early westerns made the Indians look dumb and like animals.

I loved the music and the related history that was sought in that regard. I did not like the alternate lifestyle push. As you can probably tell, I am a very traditional person and i like traditional values and movies. I believe this movie would have been so much better without the lesbian part.

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