Though its accessibility has drawn scorn from fans of “serious” documentary-making, this VH1-vibed account of sadly-overlooked backing singers should win anyone over.

It’s the magnetic personalities as much as anything, but don’t discount director Neville’s storytelling talents – anecdotes weave around each other ’til, slowly and subtly, we have less a bunch of fun tales, more an intelligent, bittersweet alternative history.

But let’s not pretend to its great seriousness – the brilliance here is just how authentic and lovable the film and its characters prove to be. It is this very natural, yet highly accomplished, presentational style that becomes something really special.

An Oscar well-deserved: no murders or revolutions necessary in this well-constructed and moving exploration of great talents who deserve their dues.

Rating: 4/5


DIRECTOR: Morgan Neville

SYNOPSIS: Documentary putting the spotlight on the backing singers whose expert harmonies have enriched so many beloved and iconic songs.