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Staff Picks Reviewer: Heather

Amazing Grace by Sydney Pollack []



I missed this film when it was showing at Amherst Cinema in the Before Times, so I was very excited to find it on Hulu. [It’s available on a variety of streaming services.] After a long, troubled production history, this film, which documents Aretha Franklin’s 1972 recording of her live gospel album, also called Amazing Grace. She recorded the album over two nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles with her own band as well as the Southern California Community Choir. All of this is just preamble to say it’s wall-to-wall heavy hitters! Feast your eyes on the choir’s costumes, the bands’ suits, the reactions of the audience, the animated choir direction from Alexander Hamilton, and, of course, feast your ears on the incredible music that is sincere, expert, and no-nonsense all at once.

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