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12.16.11 - Mary Steenburgen at Gibson Guitar Showroom.
The story is clearly near and dear to Sylvia's heart, and life experience. It is based upon his time at Whittier Middle School in Norman, Oklahoma. "I had big dreams for myself, but back then I was doing my best not to be noticed, waiting for the holy horror of lunch period to end."
Written and directed by Abe Sylvia, Dirty Girl follows Danielle (Juno Temple) and her parenting class partner Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), on their journey to freedom. Together the mismatched misfits head to California, and discover each other and themselves through a funny and serendipitous friendship as the story grapples with growing up gay, homophobic parents, broken homes, unwanted pregnancies, and abandoned children. It is one dramtic ride, with an amazing payoff, helped smartly along by the classic music of Melissa Manchester, in particular, her anthem, "Don't Cry Out Loud."
The film features eight classic Melissa Manchester hits as well as the original song written for the film. Mary Steenburgen costars as Clarke’s mother; Manchester appears on screen as a pianist.
Melissa Manchester became the first artist to receive two original song Oscar nominations in the same year for different films-- "Through the Eyes of Love" (Ice Castles) and "I’ll Never Say Goodbye" (The Promise). She won the Grammy for Best Female Vocalist for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Last year, she wrote “I Know Who I Am” performed by Leona Lewis for Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. Her dozens of albums and soundtracks releases will include a Sony Legacy “Greatest Hits” album in January. Melissa Manchester received the Governor’s Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for her contributions to music.
Funny enough, neither of the stars, whose performances are brilliant in this fantastic film, had ever heard of Melissa Manchester, or her classic anthem.
Juno Temple grew up going to exclusive boarding schools in England, a far cry from the hard life embodied in her character Danielle. Jeremy Dozier, who plays Clarke, grew up in Texas, years after Manchester's heyday on the scene. No matter, the two are superlative, in a rare story with tragedy and heartbreak to make you want to cry, but triumphant perseverence and joyous humor so as to restore your faith in life. It truly is that amazing, and as Melissa says:
"Don't cry out loud, just keep it inside, and learn how to hide your feelings."
You will be rewarded watching this film.
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