Light of Day

Light of Day

1987, PG-13, 107 min. Directed by Paul Schrader. Starring Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands, Joan Jett, Michael McKean, Thomas G. Waites, Cherry Jones, Michael Dolan, Jason Miller, Michael Rooker.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Thu., Oct. 12, 2000

Despite popular disregard for this Paul Schrader blend of family melodrama and rock & roll, some of us here at the Chronicle truly love this movie. Its heart and compassion for its characters show Schrader at his mellowest, although a bit in the deep end when it comes to dramatizing the psychodynamics of riot grrls and their kin. Joan Jett makes up for any lapses with her soulful performance and cut-to-the-quick gaze. With his expert timing, Fox makes an excellent foil as Jett’s brother and fellow member of a Cleveland rock band on the verge of success ñ if they don’t fail. Rowland’s onboard for an excessively stormy and sob-inducing turn in a subplot. But when the focus stays on the story of a rock & roll girl who burns with her passions for her young son and her music, her family and her own light, the movie sings out like a rock & roll anthem.

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More Paul Schrader Films
First Reformed
Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke burn in the divine for this meditation on faith.

Marc Savlov, May 25, 2018

The Walker
Woody Harrelson stars as a professional escort for political wives in this Paul Schrader movie about sex, murder, scandal, and adultery in Washington, D.C.

Josh Rosenblatt, Dec. 21, 2007

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Story of America's itinerant population wanders too much

Feb. 19, 2021

The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021


Light of Day, Paul Schrader, Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands, Joan Jett, Michael McKean, Thomas G. Waites, Cherry Jones, Michael Dolan, Jason Miller, Michael Rooker

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