In Your Dreams
**** (4 stars)
TORONTO – In the feature film about her life, Stevie Nicks wants Reese Witherspoon to play her.
This is one of many revelations found in In Your Dreams, the documentary about the making of Nicks’ 2011 solo album of the same name, co-directed by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, who also helmed the record with Glen Ballard.
On and off, over the course of a year, Stewart shot 50 hours of footage of the now 64-year-old Nicks, most intimately at her mansion high in the hills above Los Angeles. The resulting film features cameos by Witherspoon, Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham, Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and, of course, Stewart, who is a bit of a character himself.
When he’s not belting back the occasional martini, he’s got either an acoustic or electric guitar or camera in his hand.
During one funny moment, Stewart is filming Nicks and she looks up and says: “Oh, that was you the whole time. I’m going like, ‘Who’s the chick in the white outfit that’s filming us?’”
One genuine surprise? That until writing with Stewart, Nicks had never ever written a song with another person in the same room before.
“I don’t like to be told what to do,” she says at one point.
In another scene, she is seen arguing with Buckingham over tense changes in her lyrics.
“Would you say that to Bob Dylan?” Nicks asks him.
And when Stewart tries to insert some “too siren-y, too weird” guitar effects into a song, Nicks says bluntly: “Don’t quit your day job.”
No pushover is Nicks. And she’s honest too.
She admits to ending up with a demo reel of 23 Campbell tracks in the ’80s after visiting Tom Petty and stealing one — Runaway Trains — for a Fleetwood Mac song until Petty got wind of it.
“All I could hear was Tom screaming,” she says to the camera. “I was so busted.”
The movie is certain to appeal to fans of Nicks, whose gypsy persona, fashion style and throaty voice made her an icon.
And for those who aren’t devotees, the behind-the-scenes music-making with some of rock’s top musicians will fascinate.
In Your Dreams: Stevie Nicks is at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Monday at 7 and 7:30pm, with Nicks conducting a Q&A afterward.
Jane Stevenson / Toronto Sun / Sunday, April 14, 2013 08:02 PM EDT