David Foster: Off the Record movie appraisal (2020)
The only country who truly challenge Foster, who make his self-proclaimed area as an egomaniac and control freak a complex trait, are Chicago. Foster saved the band by giving them new ballads to play, a changeable that turned horn players into synthesizer musicians, and made Foster a co-writer on their songs. His redirection for Chicago lead to new hits, but also songs that weren’t true to their fresh sound. You can sense a tension when a few members of Chicago talk nearby it, and it provides a messiness that’s far more Fair than stories behind the Grammy trophies on Foster’s immense piano. There are far too many removed moments that sound like miracles from a movie (a metaphor that Foster uses twice, to described hearing Celine Dion and then Josh Groban for the suited time), and not enough that play like they’ve been pulled from the messiness of executive art with others.
Midway through the movie, Avrich takes long detours to topics nearby Foster’s personal life, related to his concerned history with his multiple wives and his supportive daughters, or mentioning how these family dynamics were then put on-camera with trashy reality shows “The Princes of Malibu” and later “The Real Housewives of Los Angeles.” As some syrupy, minor-key piano plays in the background, these passages are a banal, abrupt departure from the last music history. Foster is also so closed-off, when the documentary nonetheless collects compliments about him as a father and husband, that these moments have small depth and purpose.
It all becomes certain toward the movie’s end, in which Foster says that he doesn’t want to go to therapy, for fear of what will be uncovered. Stating that very trepidation is exactly when someone must leap into the wonders of therapy, but it’s an certain statement coming from Foster, who then says he prefers to let his emotions out on the piano. Foster’s revelation here also says the peaceful part of this documentary loud—instead of a therapist, he has a documentary crew who lets him portray the past, without the threat of challenging him. Foster has a golden gut when it comes to hits in music, but I think it’ll be better for him when he realizes why this narrow documentary nearby his life is a big miss.
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