I’ve been known to enjoy country music. And I love a good redemption story. Sadly, Country Strong’s trailer surfaced, and it looks like it’ll disappoint in both counts.
Gwyneth Paltrow plays a not-so-fresh from rehab country singing superstar on her comeback tour. She’s jealous of her opening act, played by Leighton Meester, who is younger, prettier and perkier. So of course – sparks fly.
The bad news is the film seems chock-full of pandering: A-List Movie Star – check. Twenty-Something It Girl– check. Real Country Music Star (to lend credibility) – check. Cute kid – oh that’s a check! And a theme song that is conveniently a plot point – oh you better believe that’s a check!
The good news is if you don’t see the movie – you already know what happens thanks to the trailer.
All in all, Paltrow seems miscast. She’s far too prissy to be convincing as a country singer. I have a hard time believing this prim celebrity has ever been to a dive bar much less danced on a table at one. And while Paltrow can play British with the best of them, her Southern accent makes me cringe. Then there are her complaints about being regarded too old when she doesn’t have a line on her face. Um…yeah.
Now I do admit, it’s not all bad. Garrett Hedlund’s song seems pleasing, and Tim McGraw appears grounded and charming, but then they cut to Paltrow and she looks like she’s in a totally different film.
If you want a touching and engaging film about a country singer struggling with life and career watch Crazy Heart, Walk the Line or Coal Miner’s Daughter. Hell, watch Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. I have a feeling all will be more satisfying than Paltrow’s Country Strong.
What’s your favorite country music movie?
Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely […]
Latest posts from The Film Stage