Sunday, February 2, 2014

Country Strong (2010) [PG-13] ***

Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a former superstar country singer who lived the dream and then turned to alcohol to get through tour performances. She hit rock bottom after falling off the stage during a tour stop in Dallas, drunk and five months pregnant, after which she lost her baby.

Kelly ended up in a Nashville rehab facility where she became dependent upon Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund) a young staff member who was also a talented singer/songwriter. Then Kelly's husband and manager James (Tim McGraw in a non-singing role) pulls her out of rehab a month early to start an encore singing tour, despite the misgivings of both Kelly and Beau. James convinces both Beau and beauty-queen-turned-singer/songwriter Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester) to accompany them on tour, setting the stage for serious romantic complications.

This character-driven study of the highs and lows of country singing stars' lives and performance tours features believable acting as well as surprisingly strong singing performances by Paltrow, Hedlund and Meester. Despite a somewhat negative reception by film critics, if you enjoy films like Walk the Line and Crazy Heart, then you might want to give Country Strong a chance. 

Labels: drama, music, romance, tragedy  
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 45/100 
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=45, viewers=66)    

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