A slow starter, well worth hanging on to the end, Stanley's Gig is a beautiful, understated story of redemption, full of quiet humor and amusingly real characters. William Sanderson, an actor with a memorable voice and a forgettable face, was perfect as Stanley, a recovering alcoholic who has wasted much of his life, but finds his talent as a ukulele-playing music therapist at a drab Los Angeles nursing home. Marla Gibbs, as Eleanor, was equally effective as an aged jazz singer who reclaims her past. Faye Dunaway, in an uncharacteristically unglamorous role, plays Stanley's friend and another recovering alcoholic. The plot is thin, but it is not the plot that matters. Stanley, in his quirky way, brings pride to Eleanor's memories of her past and at the same time finds his way late in life. The reward is well worth the journey.
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