Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (2019) Poster

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Lightweight Lightfoot, But Still Satisfying
LeonardHaid28 May 2019
Watching Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind was a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes, but something was lacking. Maybe this had to do with the life and career of this 80-year-old music legend's life being reduced to a mere 90 minutes. I wanted more. My only other complaint: Why feature Alec Baldwin over and over again? The interview snippets of him talking about Gordon Lightfoot puzzled both me and my friend. Alec Baldwin?? "That was the weirdest part of the movie," my friend said. Was it so hard to find relevant people to say insightful things about Gordon and his music that the filmmakers had to go with what I thought were banalities of an irrelevant?

But there are many pluses which include a lot of old footage, and Gordon singing of course. The best running theme of the film for me is Gordon reflecting on things, or just shooting the breeze. His lamentations of causing emotional trauma to the women in his life via his actions and his music juxtapose beautifully with his belief that the male-female dynamic is the single most fascinating force in the universe to him, and with his gorgeous lyrics and soulful crooning. The best moment of the film for me is when the Good Brothers talk about how Gordon can evoke such emotion from seemingly ordinary lines. One of the Goods recites the line "Is the home team still on fire, do they still win all their games, and by the way, did she mention my name", and gets so choked up he can barely finish it. I could so relate.

When it comes right down to it, I and the several other Gordon fans I talked to who have seen this doc love it for the simple fact that it's a doc about Gordon Lightfoot. How could that concept fail. Still, I wish it had been at least 2 hours long. Why edit it to 90 minutes. Make it 2 hours, replace Alec Baldwin talking about Gordon with esteemed musicians and/or esteemed Canadians and/or esteemed Canadian musicians talking about Gordon Lightfoot....10 out of 10 stars.
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