As one of the biggest festivals of both music and film, South by Southwest is evidentially the perfect location to premiere interdisciplinary films about music. This year the 24 Beats Per Second category of the Texan event proudly presented Amy Scott’s documentary on Sheryl Crow, which hits VOD streaming services this week.
Sheryl sits down with Crow and some of the people in her life to discuss the Missourian singer-songwriter’s development and career. Among the talking heads are Laura Dern, whom we learn was Crow’s roommate, and Brandi Carlile, who recalls seeing her powerhouse performance at Lilith Fair and the impact it had. The most important voice of the film, however, is Sheryl Crow herself as she recalls the rejections and leaps of faith that came before the success, but also the lows that followed.
The cleanness in the composition and the images adjusts the viewer to expect nothing more than the cursory glance of the average artist-approved TV profile. As such, it comes as a surprise that her breakout tour with Michael Jackson is not entirely glossed over. Crow talks about her naiveté regarding the young boys Jackson surrounded himself with, choosing her words carefully to remain as impartial as possible, and cautiously speculates that the tabloid rumours about her affair with the singer were strategically planted. She reveals that she was sexually harassed by Jackson’s manager, and that this led to writing What I Can Do for You, but, like many crucial topics that are broached in this documentary, the outcome is left in abeyance as the narrative moves on.
The information conveyed in this 95-minute Showtime Original production is approximately the same as the Wikipedia page of the artist and so one is left wondering who this documentary’s intended audience might have been. Possibly a disappointment to the die-hard fans, who will find nothing new, Sheryl is best enjoyed with as little prior knowledge about Crow as possible.
Sheryl is released digitally on demand on 24th October 2022.
Watch the trailer for Sheryl here: