05.14.2019

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace (2019) - A Film Review

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace (2019) - A Film Review

Photo Credit Amazing Grace LLC
 

By Michael P Coleman

Just a few minutes into the phenomenal new documentary Amazing Grace, I put my near-full bag of popcorn down. 

Grandma Coleman always admonished me about eating in church. 

There could be no greater swan song by the legendary Aretha Franklin than this energizing film.  Recorded almost 50 years ago, Franklin’s double album of the same title is her greatest artistic accomplishment.  Technical glitches kept the movie from being released decades ago, but with those problems solved, the world gets to see the step-by-step recording of the landmark project.

When a singer can reduce gospel legends like the Rev James Cleveland, with whom Franklin recorded Amazing Grace, and Clara Ward to tears, you know she’s singing.  Franklin had a similar effect on The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, who can be seen throughout the film clapping, singing, swaying, and caught up in Franklin’s rapturous performance, as was everyone else who was lucky enough — who was blessed enough —to have been at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. 

Click here to read MPC's full review of Amazing Grace.