The Linda McCartney Story
It’s 1965, and Linda Eastman (Elizabeth Mitchell) is a single mother with a passion for rock music and the musicians who create it. A photographer with the ability to put her subjects at ease, Eastman is offered an assignment at Rolling Stone, a new publication covering the rock scene. Eastman’s upstanding attorney father, Lee (George Segal), is not impressed and, as usual, his approval is not forthcoming. But Linda is determined to take the job and goes to London to photograph the Beatles.
After having sexual affairs with Mick Jagger (implied) and Jim Morrison (semi-graphic), Linda meets Paul in a nightclub where he invites her to join him and his friends when they leave for another club. After another sexual encounter (with Paul at his hotel room), Linda realizes something special is happening between them. The couple eventually marries, to the chagrin of Paul’s fans and the other members of the famous band.
The tumultuous world of rock music in the ‘60s and ‘70s provides the backdrop for their life. Their loving 30-year marriage survives the Beatles’ break-up, the formation of Wings, Paul’s landing in jail on drug charges in Tokyo, and the criticism that constantly surrounds them. But, when Linda is diagnosed with cancer, the McCartneys must come to terms with the most difficult event they have ever encountered.
Much of the film is told in flashback, while Linda and Paul cope with her cancer treatments. It presents an interesting look at the couple’s loving relationship and some insight into the breakup of rock’s most famous group (Yoko Ono looks especially nasty in this depiction). Unfortunately, it explains away immoral behavior with the tired excuse: “It was the ‘60s.”
Sadly, throughout Linda’s illness and eventual death, no spiritual awareness is portrayed. What their religious beliefs were, the filmmakers didn’t think important enough to portray. Since the film is about battling and eventually facing death, I find the production rather lightweight, not dealing with a spiritual quest. Were they into any religion? No idea. Did they ever pray for God’s healing or strength? You won’t learn that from this production. I always find it tragic viewing nonreligious people facing death. How much more frightening it must be for them to face the unknown without a faith to sustain them.
The positive of this film: Once they found one another, Paul and Linda seemed devoted to each other, forsaking all others. They shared their lives, opened themselves up to each other’s needs and supported one another through difficult times. I believe this to be a positive look at the sanctity of marriage. Although there is some sexual activity, the scenes are not exploitive, but rather serve to reveal the main characters’ look at social mores. However, because there are no consequences shown after the sex act between Linda and Jim Morrison, Dove cannot award our seal to this movie