- 1 hr 49 min
Songcatcher is a 2000 drama film directed by Maggie Greenwald that features a star-studded cast including Janet McTeer, Michael Harding, Michael Davis, Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, and Jane Adams. The movie is set in the early 1900s and follows the story of a musicologist named Dr. Lily Penleric who travels to the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee to study the local folk music and culture.
Dr. Penleric is a professor of musicology at a prestigious university but faces gender discrimination and bias in her workplace. In search of a break from her monotonous and oppressive life, she travels to the Appalachian Mountains to study the traditional folk music of the people living there. She is fascinated by the rich and deep musical culture that exists in the area and starts collecting songs and stories from the locals, including a young girl named Deladis Slocumb.
As she begins to delve deeper into the local community, she discovers that the Appalachian culture is rich with music, art, and folklore, but it is also steeped in poverty and hardship. The people living in the mountains are struggling to make a living, and the land and the resources are controlled by a handful of wealthy landlords. Dr. Penleric becomes embroiled in a power struggle between the landlords and the locals, who want to retain control over their culture and resources.
As the plot unfolds, Dr. Penleric finds herself falling in love with the local schoolteacher, Tom Bledsoe. Their romance adds an additional layer of complexity to the story, as Tom is a widower with a daughter, and the locals are not very accepting of their relationship.
Songcatcher stands out for its excellent performances by the actors, especially Janet McTeer, who perfectly captures the nuances of her character's struggle against gender bias and her gradual transformation from an academic outsider to an empathetic insider. The soundtrack for the movie is a collection of traditional Appalachian folk songs performed by contemporary artists.
Moreover, the cinematography and the settings of the movie add to the beauty and authenticity of the music and the culture it portrays. The landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, and the movie does an excellent job of capturing the local color and the idiosyncrasies of the region's people.
In conclusion, Songcatcher is an engaging and thought-provoking movie that explores themes of identity, culture, and power. It is a cinematic gem that deserves more recognition than it has received.
Songcatcher is a 2000 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 63.