SXSW: 'When Angels Sing' stuns with soundtrack
Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson and Austinites galore
AUSTIN -- The Christmas film "When Angels Sing" boasts Willie Nelson as Santa Claus; Lyle Lovett as a holiday-happy neighbor to Harry Connick, Jr.'s Scrooge, due to his unhappy Christmas past; and Kris Kristofferson as his dad, and his heart if full of the season's joy.
So, of course, the soundtrack is X-mas excellence.
The film -- shot in Austin and premiered at South By Southwest -- is as family-friendly as they come, with Connick's usual charm and easiness oozing from in between the green and red trim. The trademark seems to be Hallmark, though the film has yet to get picked up. The music won't hurt its chances: Family singalongs, a stumble into a church, caroling and a gander through Austin's hot spots (including Salt Lick, nom) provide ample opportunities for originals and Christmas classics.
Lovett has an extended acoustic jam with Kat Edmonson and Nelson gets a solo on "Amazing Grace." Connick refrains from singing in the film until a duet with Nelson on the closing credits. I especially loved the cameos from the Trishas and from Dale Watson, who give this film a particular Austin glaze that could help sell music, if not the film itself.
"Kris and Harry are great," Nelson told me of his co-stars and collaborators before the premiere. "I like good writers, good singers and good people. They don’t get any better than those guys."
Which leads back around to the spotlight city. If "When Angels Sing" isn't an endorsement for holiday cheer and/or Black Friday (get your house lights NOW), it's like an extended commercial for Texas' capitol, with the metaphoric Live Oak Lane representative of the town's live music reputation. As a newly transplanted resident here, I felt a great amount of pride in seeing this miniature showcase of roots, blues, country and folk music, even within the context of Christmas carols, music that I love.
The movie will try hard to draw a tear to the eye, but the music moreso invites the listener into a seat, or on their feet, for Austin, even aside from the SXSW context.
News From Our Partners
- Baz Luhrmann Passed on Directing 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' Someone Just Paid $1.5 Million to Sit Next to Leonardo DiCaprio in Space Tim Curry Is Fine After Suffering a Massive Stroke: Report
- Hear This: “Second Best” reflects a pivotal moment all serious bands face Watch This: The wages and the fear remain high in William Friedkin’s Sorcerer Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Nine: James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix reteam for a compelling period drama
- What to Watch This Weekend: Orphan Black, Behind the Candelabra, and Arrested Development's Netflix Debut Do These Four New Arrested Development Clips Get You Excited for the Show's Return? (VIDEO) Arrested Development Q&A: Alia Shawkat on Maeby, the Return of the Show, and the Canonization of Mitch Hurwitz
- 'Avengers 2′ — Joss Whedon Talks Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy HD Will Let You Hold It on Your Mobile Device Will Smith Raps 'Fresh Prince' Theme with Jaden, Dances "Carlton" and "Apache" with Alfonso Ribiero
- The Telefile - The Most Heinous Person on Reality TV This Week The Telefile - Does Someone Have to Go?: Work Sucks.... If You Are On This Show The Telefile - Save Me: Lightning Strikes NBC
- WATCH: Gay Protest Turns Into Fashion Show What Netflix Really Wants Out Of 'Arrested Development' Game Of Desks Is HERE!
- Weekly Ketchup: Fox and Marvel Both Courting Quicksilver for Comic Blockbusters Critics Consensus: Fast & Furious 6 is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Photos with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and More
- One Direction's Niall Horan Spends the Night With UK TV Star Louise Thompson Kelly Clarkson Denies 'American Idol' Judging Gig Did Justin Bieber Get a Kitten? [Pics]
DJ Jazzy Jeff and Carlton stop by the 'Graham Norton' show: FabulousFriday, May 24, 2013
A history lesson and a 'Lucky' startFriday, May 24, 2013
Human time-lapseThursday, May 23, 2013
Ball's in your court, Bruce DickinsonThursday, May 23, 2013