• Publication date: May 27, 2009

Final Triumph Being In the 1950s; �No� For Female Singers

�Grace of My Heart� is larger in scale than many of writer-director Allison Anders's films, but the film bears her unmistakable signature, focusing the same attention on the intimate details of a woman's life that her smaller films do.

�Grace of My Heart� is larger in scale than many of writer-director Allison Anders's films, but the film bears her unmistakable signature, focusing the same attention on the intimate details of a woman's life that her smaller films do.

As the film opens in the 1950s, Edna Buxton (Illeana Douglas) wins a singing contest; she's promised a recording contract, but when she arrives to New York to collect her prize, she finds out it was really a scam: the labels don't want female singers.

After many frustrating auditions, she runs into a manager, Joel Millner (John Turturro), who convinces her to change her name, put her singing ambitions on hold until the market is right, and focus on writing songs for other singers.

Edna agrees, but will she manage to be a successful song writer? Will she, one day, return to her first career and realize her dream to record her own hit album?

Ileana Douglas, the goggle-eyed, curiously attractive, eternal character actress, gets her first starring role in �Grace of My Heart�, an era-spanning pseudo-biopic that loosely depicts the life and career of singer/songwriter Carole King. Douglas grabs onto the role with such passion and conviction which reflects her acting abilities.

Although the film spans only fifteen years, it covers three different and distinctive periods of music history and pop culture. From the doo-wop sounds of the late fifties to the beach tunes of the early sixties to the psychedelia of the seventies.

Director Allison Anders chose a perfect and strong talented cast to star in this film. It includes Illeana Douglas as Denise Waverly / Edna Buxton, Sissy Boyd as Dress Saleswoman, Christina Pickles as Mrs. Buxton, Jill Sobule as Singing Contestant, Jennifer Leigh Warren as Doris Shelley, Tegan West as M.C. at Talent Show, Richard Schiff as Audition Record Producer, Natalie Venetia Belcon as Betty, Kathy Barbour as Sha Sha, John Turturro as Joel Millner and many others.

The movie was released on September 13, 1996, with a run time of 116 minutes.