Jagged – Toronto 2021

Alanis Morissette while recording songs that would become the Jagged Little Pill album (circa 1994). Photograph by Glen Ballard/Courtesy of HBO.

Jagged is a revealing documentary about singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette and focuses on her Jagged Little Pill years.

While Morrissette opens up about some of the years that followed, this film is really about her early years. The same years that gave us such hits as “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “Ironic.” If you are wondering, audiences don’t find out who “You Oughta Know” is about either. Chances are likely that we’ll never know the subject of the song. Her debut album, Jagged Little Pill, saw her collaborating with producer Glen Ballard and she followed this up with an 18-month world tour. She was superstar in the decade that preceded the likes of Taylor Swift and female superstars. However, her subsequent albums were never quite able to measure up to her first album. And yet, she remains popular.

It’s only years later that she’s able to open up about this time. It’s certainly not easy and definitely isn’t pretty either. The biggest revealing item of the film is that she was raped by multiple men–this comes three-fourths of the way through. Morissette wasn’t of age when this happened and refers to it as statutory rape.

Word has it that the singer isn’t attending Tuesday’s world premiere, presumably due to the final cut. This is the thing about documentaries. You can open your heart and soul up to a filmmaker but at the end of the day, it’s in the filmmaker’s hands to tell a story. Alison Klayman is a good filmmaker and has a lot of independence when it comes to telling the story. There’s nothing in the film that I find offensive and worth missing a world premiere of this caliber.

Jagged is a part of HBO’s Music Box series, which also premiered Listening to Kenny G during TIFF.

DIRECTOR: Alison Klayman
FEATURING: Alanis Morissette

Jagged holds its world premiere during the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival in the Gala Presentations program. HBO will air the documentary this fall.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.