Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Country Strong

I was given the opportunity recently to attend a free screening of Gwyneth Paltrow's newest movie Country Strong and I have to admit that I can't stop thinking about it!

There are several things that I love about this movie.
1: I love the fact that the actors are actually singing the songs in the movie!
2: I love that you would not normally think of Gwyneth to portray a character like Kelly Cantor but she is so wonderfully heartbreaking!
3: Oh and it doesn't hurt either that Garrett Hedlund is so easy on the eyes!

I don't want to give too much away with this movie so instead, I'll just let Ann McElhinney with Big Hollywood give her professional review on the movie:

‘Country Strong’ Review: Heart, Soul, Great Performances and Music

by Ann McElhinney
I can’t remember the last time I went to see a movie twice in one week. I did just that with Country Strong. 
Country Strong is very good, it’s sincere, it’s sad, it’s funny and the music is toe-tapping, hum-in-your-head-for-days good. It’s also a reminder of what being a movie star is all about. Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance as alcoholic country music star Kelly Canter is believable and heartbreaking and she can belt out a country song like she was born to it. Garrett Hedlund, however, steals the spotlight playing an aspiring singer-song-writer working in a rehab facility who befriends Paltrow. He is the real deal, he can do anything, even make you believe he is a professional singer, which he is not, and boy can he sing and act, brilliant. Country Strong is a morality tale, bad behavior brings serious consequences and the good find hope and happiness, all that morality doesn’t go down well in a Hollywood where the rape of a teenager can be dismissed as not really “rape, rape” and the rapist defended. 
I’ve seen so many appalling films lately, it was truly refreshing to see something with so much heart and soul. It probably didn’t deserve to be seen twice in one week but I felt so low after seeing “How Do You Know” with all it’s dialed in performances. 
I saw Country Strong in Hollywood and when a particularly powerful song was being performed and two American flags were unfurled, some audience members laughed. The NYT reviewer scoffs at another poignant moment when Paltrow kisses a cross she is wearing, they hate Christians almost as much as they hate America. How very smart and clever of them. Unfortunately, the NYT can crush a film. 
I am very curious to see how the film does at the box office and I wish the producers well. The reviews in all the urbane sophisticated outlets are panning it. I can’t recommend it enough, silly me.

I too cannot recommend this movie enough! I'd go see it again right now today if I weren't snowed in! I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs from the film -- Give in to Me by Leighton Meester & Garrett Hedlund. Enjoy!!

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