“Country Strong” didn’t last long in theatres, but it’s On Demand now and we rented it yesterday. Here’s the review…
I’m a softie for country singing movies. There’s always alcoholism and a lot of heartache. I don’t listen to country music, but I do enjoy listening to it when it is featured in a film.
“Country Strong” is the story of a 6 time Grammy winner Kelly Canter (played by none other than my idol Gwyneth Paltrow) who has been through a lot of personal and professional turmoil, including a stint in rehab for alcoholism (of course), and is attempting to make a comeback. Married to her Manager, played by Tim McGraw (I think he’s the only actor who ever stars in a country music film), she is in a strange and sexless relationship. Their marriage seems more an unfulfilled business arrangement than anything else, leaving them both starved for love and real affection.
You know I love Gwyneth, but I didn’t think she was great in this film. Her country accent wasn’t brilliant at all. Her singing was good though, and she is always extremely easy on the eyes. And Tim McGraw was just okay too. Normally I would attribute these so-so performances to the script, but I can’t, because there were two stellar performances.
Garrett Hedlund (I’ve never seen him before) is fabulous as an up and coming country singer Beau Hutton who is entangled in a relationship with Kelly where he is both her sponsor and lover. He sings beautifully, and his performance overall was great to watch.
The real breakout performance, however, was played by Leighton Meester (I was not expecting this!). She plays the opening act for Kelly Canter — younger, fresher, not yet jaded by life and love. She is fabulous! Her singing is beautiful, and her face manages to convey love and lust in a refreshing way. I loved her! She should be a major star.
Overall I recommend the movie, especially since it’s On Demand. In fact, even if I had to pay the full admission price in a theatre I would do it again. I give it two thumbs up out of two: one for me and one for my boyfriend.