Country Strong

0
0
Subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow alerts

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th January 2011

Box Office USA: $20.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $20.2M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Screen Gems

Production compaines: Maguire Entertainment, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 101

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Shana Feste

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow as Kelly Canter, Garrett Hedlund as Beau Williams, Tim McGraw as James Canter, Leighton Meester as Chiles Stanton

Country Strong Movie Review


Like last year's Crazy Heart, this film traces the journey of a struggling addict country singer. And while the film is somewhat sentimental and simplistic, it features some strong acting that manages to draw us in.

Nashville superstar Kelly (Paltrow) is released from rehab a month early to get back on the road and make some money. Kelly wants her sponsor Beau (Hedlund) to open her shows, while her husband-manager James (McGraw) also lines up rising-star beauty queen Chiles (Meester). Beau thinks she's just a "country Barbie"; he genuinely cares about Kelly, whose marriage to James has gone cold.

Unsurprisingly, she turns to Beau for comfort and more when her comeback tour doesn't go as expected. And the big finale is in Dallas, where she fell from grace.

The film is warm and engaging from the start, although writer-director Feste starts in with some heavy-handed symbolism, as Kelly is raising a rescued baby bird in a little wooden box. And the film's melodramatic-downer tone includes a corny soap-opera plot that never widens beyond the awkward connections between these four characters. But at least there are enough real-life echoes to help us stay interested. And we recognise the premise from the headlines, with paparazzi hounding Kelly's troubled private life.

Even better are the relaxed performances by all four actors. Paltrow adds surprising depth to a character who seems superficial, and develops believable chemistry with the other actors. The role is a little over-egged, with extreme emotional reactions to everything that happens, but Paltrow makes Kelly likeably brittle. Meanwhile, the original songs are terrific; as with Crazy Heart, they all sound like timeless country classics and are performed with so much personality that they often carry an exhilarating emotional punch.

But the music is constantly interrupted as the story focuses on a range of grim confrontations, alcoholic relapses, messy performances, illicit attraction and flashes of jealousy that come straight from the screenwriter rather than the characters. This means that, while the film is watchable, the lack of real momentum means that it feels mopey and overlong. But there are some great moments along the way that make it worth a look. Or at least worth a listen.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow alerts

Comments

Country Strong Rating

" OK "

Advertisement

More Gwyneth Paltrow

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Advertisement

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement