Paleo Retiree writes:
Even though my wife and I have watched a few other docs about Janis Joplin — many of the sources, interviewees and anecdotes here were awfully familiar to us — we still enjoyed this new one, directed by Amy Berg. It has an angle on Joplin that the title gives away and, though we found the regular circlings-back to its theme a little relentless, we were also struck by how effective the movie was at making its point, which was: despite her current legendary status, Joplin at the time she was singing was a very young girl-woman blundering her way into a creative life and hoping for the best — a talented, offbeat, somewhat messed-up plain Jane you might have known as a high-school classmate, who happened to get struck by pop-culture lightning. (The film is also a fun evocation of the ’60s, San Francisco edition.) At one point in the film an interviewee recalls Joplin saying, more or less, “After my voice blows out I’ll run a bar in the Tenderloin,” and that suggests something of the way the film gets not just at Joplin’s wit and earthiness but at the person behind the myth. We were also both struck by Joplin’s terrific fashion flair. What a great look she put together for herself!