January 21, 2022
A new look at the life and career of the controversial Singer shows us mostly what many of us already know but does so effectively
Nothing Compares review – poignant, if limited, Sinéad O’Connor documentary
It is impossible, at least for me, to watch a documentary on Sinéad O’Connor and not be impacted knowing that her 17-year-old son has just died by apparent suicide, and she herself, as I write this, is hospitalized after sending suicidal tweets. Naturally, this was not the case when this project was being produced, and, logically speaking, these outside factors should have no bearing on my critical appraisal of this film.
But Sinéad O’Connor didn’t become an international sensation by following the roads of logic. A very in-your-face emotionalism has always been her stock in trade. One can trace her early years, at least as I encountered her in the United States, with three distinct acts. Her first hit music video was initially shocking, debuting O’Connor’s revelatory genderfluid look, but the song, I Want Your (Hands On Me), is far from fiery and abrasive, indeed nothing but catchy and sensual, as a lover’s call should be. Her eternal smash Nothing Compares 2 U remains one of pop music’s rawest, empathetic, most heartbreaking tracks. (Crying in the video didn’t hurt either.) Then there was the moment of righteous rage, ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live.
Nothing Compares is showing at the Sundance film festival and will be released later this year
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
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