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SXSW Film Reviews: 'When Angels Sing'

Daily Reviews and Interviews

Reviewed by Amy Smith, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW Film

When Angels Sing

Headliners, World Premiere
D: Tim McCanlies; with Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury

Based on the book by Austin writer/philanthropist Turk Pipkin, this sugarcoated Christmas tale is reminiscent of an old Roy Rogers movie, a musical Western with a moral message. Only this version features Willie Nelson as a modern-day singing cowboy and saint (aptly named Nick). Filmed in Bastrop and in and around Austin, McCanlies' newest work is an eye- and ear-candy treat for locals and live-music enthusiasts appreciative of Austin's musical roots and folksy allure. In addition to Nelson, the musical cast runs deep, with Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, Marcia Ball, and countless other Austin-based musicians making appearances. Connick plays an emotionally scarred Michael Walker, a family man who's carried the weight of a Christmas tragedy for 30 years. When his young son (Canterbury) experiences a tragedy of his own, Michael – with the help of wise, old Nick – finally realizes what a Grinch he's been all these many years. Christmas for everyone, indeed.

Friday, March 15, 11:45am, Paramount
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