Heaven Adores You

As it turns out you either know or don’t know who Elliott Smith is, there’s a three way divide between people who have never heard of him, pre-Oscar nomination fans and post. From the outset of ‘Heaven Adores You’ we all know the outcome isn’t good and so the film deals with it from the start and then moves onto the story of Smith’s life. Although it touches on the darker times he experienced it never dwells on them and most of the people interviewed seem to have memories that focus on how smart, charming and funny he was, a point made several times that his songs weren’t fully autobiographical and were in fact observations. The most startling thing about Elliott I got from this documentary was the fact that he really wanted to write and record but couldn’t cope with the interviews and the touring and that he such a hard time being famous. It can be difficult to be a sensitive soul in that world and the reality of it all just proved too much. The film briefly goes into his depression and drug use but mostly focuses on the music and the legacy that he left behind and as a fan the film at times was not an easy watch and at several points I found myself moved to tears. When he died my friend took a day off work I wrote a song called ‘Brittle Boy Blue’ that I played at a tribute night we had to celebrate the film’s release. I’m unsure if the film with change anyone’s mind toward Smith but for the devoted it is a least a little bit of him still resonating in a world that sadly he couldn’t be in anymore.

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