Country Strong (2010)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB

USA, 2010.  , , , .  Screenplay by Shana Feste.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

While it means to be a female version of Crazy Heart, bad writing and loose direction prevent this musical from hitting nearly as hard as Scott Cooper’s film despite game work from the entire cast.    is appealing but miscast as a superstar country-western singer whose personal life is on a downward spiral, her pill and booze addiction preventing her from achieving effective performances on stage. Her fall is timed quite conveniently with the rise of a charming little lass () who has no qualms with taking her place on the big stage. Meanwhile, up-and-coming song and dance man Garrett Hedlund is trying to navigate his feelings between being a great artist and being a big star while giving Paltrow support both on stage and off, support she is not quite getting from her manager husband (). There are some nice songs and a few effective moments, but for the most part it’s forgettable soap opera silliness, and the impossibility of believing California-privileged Paltrow as southern trash sticks out like a sore thumb throughout the entire thing (not to mention the fact that her pleasant singing isn’t quite outstanding enough to really make the story peak).

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Original Song (“Coming Home”)

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Original Song (“Coming Home”)


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