Jagged @ TIFF

A black cloud hovers above this documentary about Alanis Morissette and her amazing career. Morissette claims that director Alison Klayman (The Brink) pitched the film as a look at the 33 million copy selling album as it is its 25th anniversary but instead it became more of a tell-all/behind-the-scenes type thing.

The interview with Morissette portion of the film was filmed during the summer of 2020. In it she talks about her career from the very beginning until the present time. How it began in Ottawa and a record contract while she was still in her teens. After some initial success, she found herself dropped by her label. Turning a bad thing into a good thing it allowed her to work towards writing and recording the type of music she wanted to. Out of this came writing sessions with Glen Ballard and the result was the album Jagged Little Pill.

Released in 1995 Jagged Little Pill was massive and catapulted the then 21-year-old into the megastar stratosphere. She toured the world and millions of teenage girls wanted to be here. This documentary, via interviews with Morissette and her band, pulls back the curtains on a career which seems like the envy of all. While the popularity and ticket and album sales were there so were other things.

A few reveals are found here. Things that take some of the shine off all the success. While I will not reveal them here. Morissette talks about the good and the bad. Along with the rather painful stuff. Stuff which happened to her and stuff which was going on backstage with her band.

There is a ton of nostalgia attached to this album for those of us who lived through this time. A documentary like this really brings you back. What you were doing when you first heard “You Outta Know”. How cool you thought it was for a woman to be angry and to call out those who had hurt her. Using her music to do that. What it was like to be a woman in the music business. Then and now. Wondering the whole time whether it has changed at all. Shows how women often plaster a smile on their face hiding what is really going on.