Nothing compares (15A, 100 minutes)
No doubt about the sour grapes, singer Prince decided not to let Kathryn Ferguson use the song Nothing compares 2 U in her documentary about Sinéad O’Connor. Prince’s half-sister, Sharon Nelson, who co-runs the estate, told Billboards magazine for which the request was denied because “I don’t feel her [O’Connor] deserves to use the song my brother wrote,” adding that “his version is the best”.
On this, she was clearly deceived, because while Prince initially threw the song away for a side project, and then recorded a live version rather than asserting himself, Sinéad was and still is one of the most compelling interpretations of pop vocals of all time, as raw and painfully real as the artist himself.
O’Connor was 23 years old when her version of the song was released. Number one in the UK, US and many other countries, it catapulted her to global superstardom and exposed her to pressures that are hard for someone twice her age to deal with. To her credit, she has persevered with herself by refusing to compromise her principles, which it turns out she has many.
Ferguson’s fine documentary focuses on the tumultuous years from 1987 to 1993, when Sinéad was one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but it also – and inevitably – deals with childhood. her childhood, which shaped all that followed. Sinéad has four siblings, all with different views on what it’s like to grow up in the O’Connor family, but there seems to be something cruel and unusual about her treatment at hand. of their mother, Marie.
In a voiceover interview, Sinéad describes her mother’s obsession with religion and conformity, and the rage with which she encounters any sign of dissent. Some nights, she said, her mother would lock her out of the house, leaving her to sleep in the back garden.
Things took a turn for the worse in her late teens, when her parents’ separation sent her off track. Increasingly unruly, and being sent from school to school, she ends up entering a religiously run establishment, the Magdalene Laundromat. At least, her love of music was nurtured, but she also recalls being sent as punishment to sleep in the adjoining nursing home, where former Magdalene workers lay dead.
In 1986, Marie O’Connor died in an automobile accident, leaving many problems unresolved. At the time, 19-year-old Sinéad was already singing in bands and was on her way to creating her first album of songs, Lion and cobra.
Using archival footage and interviews with Chuck D, her first husband and one-time producer John Reynolds, and O’Connor himself, Ferguson’s film recounts in a clear and moving way. about the rise of the female singer, and at the same time told me many things I did not know. For example, I’ve always assumed Sinéad’s interest in reggae and Rastafarianism was a hippie Dun Laoghaire, but in reality she was exposed to that music and culture during her early days in London.
I also didn’t know that she became a parent so young, which meant that when she came to America, she had to deal with the demands of fame and motherhood. Her iconic performance at the 1989 Grammy Awards is featured, as well as that unforgettable appearance on Saturday night live in 1992 when she tore a picture of Pope John Paul II on the air.
Of course, all hell was broken, and in Nothing compares we see angry reactions from all sorts of entitled American men, from Frank Sinatra to Joe Pesci, who plummet in one’s estimate. After she refused to allow the United States national anthem to be performed before a concert in New Jersey, trucks carrying her CDs were rummaged through by thugs.
She is, one could argue, sabotage her own career, but it’s hard not to admire her fearless honesty. Sinéad has principles and adheres to them, and all the issues she opposes have now become mainstream. I wonder if she regrets anything: if so, she didn’t say, and her more recent tribulations didn’t come in. What a singer, what a talent.
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Rating: Four stars
The Woman King (15A, 135 minutes)
Based on true events, Gina Prince-Blythewood’s historical drama is set in 1820s West Africa and depicts an existential battle between rival tribes Dahomey and Oyo. At its center are the Agojie, a fearsome class of female warriors in the service of Dahomey’s king Ghezo (John Boyega) and led by General Nanisca (Viola Davis), a legendary warrior. The Oyos now threatened central Dahomey and were enthusiastically supplying the Portuguese slaves with goods.
Ghezo was more casual on the issue of slavery, and Nanisca hoped to convince him to switch to farming. But first, she has a fight to win, and a group of rookies to train, among them Nawi (Soo Mbedu), a rebellious orphan.
Above all, Queen It’s an action movie, and a good one at that point: Lashana Lynch does a great job as Izogie, a devious Agojie veteran, and Boyega excels as the cunning and cunning king. Davis is brilliant as the eloquently heartbroken Nanisca, but the film is distracted by the connection between slavery and tribal hatred. Very interesting.
Rating: Three stars
Amsterdam (15A, 134 minutes)
In Amsterdam, David O Russell brought his synthetic crosstalk shtick to endure a strange real-life scandal. Christian Bale and John David Washington play Burt and Harold, Great War teammates struggling to make their mark in 1930s Manhattan. Burt is a doctor who specializes in helping disfigured veterans, Harold is a selfless lawyer. Meant too labyrinthine to imprison us, friends uncover a right-wing plot to remove Franklin D Roosevelt from the White House and replace him with a dictator.
Margot Robbie is Valerie, an artist and esthetician whom Harold falls in love with, and Rami Malek plays her rich and elusive brother. In the positive confusion of wealth, AmsterdamThe supporting cast includes Robert De Niro, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana and Andrea Riseborough. It all comes and goes with tongues in cheeks in a movie that seems to yearn for a screwball by Preston Sturges.
But the pace is too slow for that, the jokes are too laborious, and while there are some good comic performances, Amsterdam is disturbed in its intention.
Rating: Three stars
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-reviews/nothing-compares-film-review-superb-documentary-of-sinead-oconnors-life-shows-the-source-of-her-trail-blazing-talent-42046738.html Nothing Compares Movie Review: The Amazing Documentary About Sinéad O’Connor’s Life Shows the Origins of Her Talented Shortcut