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

More in Film

Marguerite Pigott will be a featured panelist at the American Film Market 2018

Marguerite Pigott at the American Film Market: Gender Diversity Panel 2018

Marguerite Pigott, Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Media Producers Association, will be a featured guest at the American Film Market 2018

VIFF chinoiserie: Taiwan island fever, mainland navel-gazing

Taiwan's Hsiao Ya-chuan upholds Hou Hsiao-hsien lineage; PRC documentarian world-premieres her narrative film debut; director-producer duo Nai An and Yang Mingming co-star in feminist tragicomedy

A dog lover’s cinematic delight, Spielberg’s dip back into the 1980s and another expose of a financial racket

Also the emotional life story of a BC slam poet, and three new films from France (one about the country our peacekeepers are going to)
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.