Stevie Nicks: Nicks In Your Dreams is an affectionate documentary about the Fleetwood Mac singer co-directed by Eurythmics Dave Stewart.
By Linda Barnard
Monday, April 15, 2013
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
*** (3 stars out of 4)
A documentary about the making of Stevie Nicks’ album. Directed by Nicks and Dave Stewart. 100 minutes. Screens April 16-18 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. G
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams shows devotion to its raspy-voiced rock goddess subject immediately, with a montage of concert-goers professing their love for the poetic Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter who went on to solo success.
Screening at a pair of gala premieres Monday night at the TIFF Bell Lightbox with Nicks in attendance to do post-show Q&A sessions, true fans will find their gold dust woman as the doc unspools, witnessing the creative machinery behind her songwriting process, as Nicks makes the 2011 album of the same name in her California home studio.
Nicks and the rest of Fleetwood Mac (minus Christine McVie, who exited the band in 1998) play the Air Canada Centre Tuesday.
Nicks directs the doc with musician-producer Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, who co-wrote some of the songs on In Your Dreams, co-producing the album with Glen Ballard.
Stewart, who has been working with film since he traded a gold coin he found on the street for a camera, explains he and Nicks come from similar places. Both made music at the start of their careers with romantic partners; he with Annie Lennox and Nicks with Lindsey Buckingham, which ended when the band was recording 1977’s Rumours.
Musical film bios that also serve as companion pieces (or marketing devices, for the cynical) for releases are popping up all over lately, most notably: The History of the Eagles: Part 1 and 2 and Dave Grohl’s Sound City.
The track-by-track exploration reveals Nicks as a perfectionist with a remarkable ear and impressive musical memory. She uses poetry from her journal to create lyrics — borrowing others from Edgar Allan Poe — setting them to music she randomly figures out on a keyboard (she has no formal training). Other times she sets her words to Stewart’s guitar.
If Nicks decides to break musical or lyric-writing rules as she goes (to the obvious exasperation of Buckingham in one amusing scene), it makes no nevermind to her. “You wouldn’t say that to Dylan,” she snaps.
The track-by-track journey through the album gets a bit dreary, but hearing that throaty, constricted voice soar above the music as Nicks stands in the echo chamber created by her home’s curved staircase or while dressed as a witchy diva on her terrace to belt out the poignant “Italian Summer,” makes up for a lot.
And for those of us who have loved Nicks since she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, seeing her peer at a lyric sheet through a magnifying glass brings a certain comfort. We’re getting older, too, Stevie.