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Movie Review

Songcatcher

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and an intense scene of childbirth
Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Drama
Length:
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
2000
USA Release:
December 1, 2000 (limited)
Relevant Issues
Poster art for “Songcatcher”
Featuring: Janet McTeer, Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, Jane Adams, Greg Russell Cook, Iris DeMent, Stephanie Roth Haberle, David Patrick Kelley, E. Katherine Kerr, Taj Mahal
Director: Maggie Greenwald
Producer: _____
Distributor: Lions Gate Films

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: (from the producer) Set off on an exhilarating adventure across a part of America still rarely seen, deep into the raw and rumbling, high-mountain roots of rock, bluegrass, folk and country music. This is the terrain of “Songcatcher”, a different kind of movie about music: part love story, part archive of America’s most secret musical legacies. Academy Award-winner nominee and Tony Award and Golden Globe-winner Janet McTeer stars as turn-of-the-century musicologist Dr. Lily Penleric, an unlikely heroine whose Earthly, unstoppable drive leads her to musical, personal and romantic discoveries—as she uncovers remarkable songs, dances and beats of the heart in the Appalachian mountains.


Viewer Comments
There is a great deal of disturbing content in this otherwise visually and aurally pleasing movie. The picturesque Appalachian mountain setting and the mountain folk music do not completely make-up for the thematics, which include a lesbian relationship presented with flaunting propaganda and a perverse view of those who object to this relationship, as well as an affair between the two lead characters. Very objectionable movie for Christians. I went because Aidan Quinn, one of the lead actors, was in the audience and was going to talk to people after the showing (he lives in our area). He was charming, as always, but this movie did not do him justice. Nor did it do any good for the splendid Janet McTeir, who played the songcather.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 3½]
Halyna Barannik, age 55
Movie Critics
…drips with sappy stupidity… reeks of the kind of atmosphere that makes you reach for the Lysol.
—Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today

…a lot of backwoods clichés involving pickin’ (if not much grinnin’), moonshine, adulteries and, in the final third, an overdose of melodrama…
—Mike Clark, USA Today

…Strong romantic worldview pushing political correctness, feminism, lesbianism, and, to a lesser extent, anti-capitalism, with some anti-Christian, anti-Bible elements… nothing less than the illegitimate, abhorrent appropriation of American history by the looney left…
—Dr. Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…The music alone (compliments of Patty Loveless, Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris and others) is reason enough to tune in…
—E! Online
…a myriad of sub-plots including the then-illicit relationship between Lily’s sister Elna and co-teacher Harriet… and a romance involving Lily and stubborn mountain man, Tom…
—Richard Kuipers, Urban Cinefile