Fame requires a suit of armour, but Elliott Smith forgot to wear his plates. This film establishes a connection between Good Will Hunting, the Oscars and the defenceless singer-songwriter’s suicide. A punk life explained by lifelong friends that touches the heart. He simply wasn’t made for the business.
Fame requires you to wear a suit of armour, but Elliott Smith didn't pack his chest plates. Back in 1998, he declared: "I'm the wrong kind of person to be really big and famous". A year earlier he'd shot to fame for the music for Good Will Hunting, by Gus Van Sant, and four years later, he took his own life. Heaven Adores You establishes a direct connection between the film, Smith's shocking appearance at the Oscars ("Who's the guy in the white suit and the dirty hair?" joked the man himself), and his death. Show business was to blame ("It's the worst thing that could have happened to him" – his friends affirm), and this documentary isn't afraid to show the industry what its machinery can do to a sensitive soul. Through radio chats and interviews with his inner circle we see Smith's ascension to the onerous Olympus ("instead of being a rock star, you're a rock asteroid), and the path that propelled him there. His childhood in Dallas (Texas), his settling down in Portland (Oregon), punk city, his band phase (Heatmiser), his acoustic conversion ("he rebelled against the noise of his ex-band), his signing to Kill Rocks Stars and the growing word of mouth following the apparition of Either/Or in 1997. And the upwards (or downwards) spiral that would culminate in his tragic death. You just weren't made for the business, Elliott.