Songcatcher (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Songcatcher (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The story may be a bit too melodramatic, but great performances abound in Songcatcher. The real reason to see the movie, however, is the hypnotic music.

Songcatcher Videos

Songcatcher Photos

Movie Info

After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life -- a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted -- not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom -- a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician -- that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their land?
Rating:
PG-13 (for sexual content and an intense scene of childbirth)
Genre:
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$1,634,064.00
Runtime:
Studio:

Watch it now

Cast

Janet McTeer
as Dr. Lily Penleric
Pat Carroll
as Viney
Gregory Russell Cook
as Fate Honeycutt
Greg Cook
as Fate
Taj Mahal
as Dexter
Muse Watson
as Parley
Emmy Rossum
as Deladis
Michael Goodwin
as Professor
Bart Hansard
as Hilliard
Kristin Hall
as Isabel
Michael Harding
as Reese Kincaid
Rhoda Griffis
as Clementine McFarland
Steve Boles
as Ambrose McFarland
Taylor Hayes
as Reverend Merriweather
Don Pedi
as Barn Band Member (Dulcimer)
Sheila Kay Adams
as Barn Band Member (Banjo)
Bobby McMillon
as Singer at Barn Dance
Hazel Dickens
as Singer at Barn Dance
Andrea Powell
as Josie Moore
Danny Nelson
as Uncle Cratis
David Ducey
as Postman Johnson
Steven Sutherland
as Cyrus Whittle
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Songcatcher

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (29)

Like the main character, it's stodgy and didactic -- and full of grace and surprises.

Full Review… | April 24, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Songcatcher unfolds at a leisurely but enjoyable pace, its dramatic contrivances never pushed too hard by director Maggie Greenwald.

Full Review… | March 27, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No matter how purely sung, the music keeps getting lost in the melodrama.

Full Review… | October 12, 2001
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A wonderfully crafted movie in a minor key.

August 24, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Tall, big-boned Janet McTeer ... is the ideal actress to play Lily Penleric.

Full Review… | August 2, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A beautifully crafted story about a time and place rarely captured on film.

Full Review… | July 16, 2001
CNN.com
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Songcatcher

Songcatcher is an undeniably slow and melodramatic film, and while some of the performances are subpar and the pace is lacking, this movie does have a certain backwoods charm and whimsy to it. There are brutal scenes of child birth and shot gun quarrels and way more intimacy than I expected, but overall Songcatcher is nothing great, but it did surpass my expectations.

Ethan Perregaux
Ethan Perregaux

Lovely small film with beautiful music.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

Lily always had a wide-eyed stare, no matter what emotion she was showing. There were lots of random events, unrelated to the story line and the movie was fairly predictable overall.

Dannielle Albert
Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer

Songcatcher Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Songcatcher on our Movie forum!

News & Features