The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom

What would you do if one of the greatest singers was your mother?

There is something to be said for small, intimate movies. And that’s exactly what “Dolly Parton” is. At its core, it is a film about the relationship between a girl and her mother, or at least, the mother she has, and the mother she wishes she had. Set in Manitoba in 1976, writer-director Tara Johns accurately portrays the cultural movement of the era, with some nice Dolly Parton tunes to go along with it.

Young Julia Stone, brilliant in her first feature at only 12 years old, never wavers in her subtle emotionally-driven performance. Macha Grenon gives a stunning performance as her suffering, housewife mother. The best pieces however, may be the simple score by Luc Sicard and the wonderful cinematography of Claudine Sauve.

Sicard, along with Johns, produced the soundtrack for the movie, which features some great Canadian artists singing Dolly’s famous songs. Among them are Nelly Furtado, Martha Wainwright, The Wailin Jennys, and Genevieve Toupin. Each of the songs is also brilliantly inserted into the movie. Even young Stone gets to partake in the singing.

All-in-all, this film is another great piece of art to come out of Canada! A job well done.

A great Canadian film with a great Canadian soundtrack.

3 stars

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