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Reviewed by: Larry Harrison | | movie
We’ve been waiting on “Country Strong” because the rumor mill was very loud in touting Gwyneth Paltrow as Best Actress. For me, this movie was the missing piece in making final decisions for Best Actress and Picture. Well the mystery is over; Paltrow is not country strong and neither is “Country Strong.” So much for rumors.
Paltrow (age 38) plays Kelly Canter who has had too many vodkas and is in the proverbial treatment center for stars. She probably needed to stay in rehab a little bit longer, but her husband (Tim “Don’t call me Tug” McGraw) needed her more to get back to the stage so he could continue gravy training off her.
Every comeback superstar needs an opening act so they hire her sponsor who is a young, new talented C&W. singer who claims he’d rather be true to his music than chase the big bucks. Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedland) is the hunky opening act that is supposed to help keep Kelly away from alcohol while also under the very watchful eye of hubby. Throw in another young former beauty queen (Leighton Meester) from Dallas who has written enough of her own music to make an album and we now have four crazies that make the love triangle take on an additional side.
If I was Paltrow’s agent, I would have pushed this movie on her and told her that this was going to be the role that would bring her a second Oscar (Shakespeare in Love – 1998). How could this movie not be a big winner? Drunken superstar singer attempts comeback with Tim McGraw as husband and two young stars that idolize her. It’s got forgiveness, redemption, love, tears, beauty, a big stage, and the back stage.
I blame Director Shana Feste. I never heard of her either (The Greatest 2009) but only a director can make a movie which doesn’t work that has a great story with great actors. I could tell that it was made by a chick and the chicks will like it and therefore it is a chick flick for three reasons. First, the insight into the character and heart of Kelly Canter was poignant; secondly, Garrett Hedland is super sexy (not that I know about those sorts of things) and the audience was full of chicks.
Paltrow will not miss a beat because at times she was brilliant, so she will win a second Oscar; just not for a performance in 2010. Her performance wasn’t even number one in this movie. Hedlund and Meester are the big winners and will get the big bounce. And McGraw starred last year as Sandra Bullock’s husband in “The Blind Side” so he’s on a roll for playing opposite hot superstars; way to go Tug; I mean Tim. I’m glad I saw this movie but I don’t care if I ever see it again. Rock ‘n Roll.
Click to see a trailer.
About "Uncle Larry"
Larry W. Harrison has been writing reviews since 1997 and hundreds of his reviews are archived on his web page at www.LarryHmoviereviews.com. Larry's passion for movies and the law began at an early age when he first saw Gregory Peck's memorable portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. His reviews typically have a humorous twist with a sprinkle of schtick, but he is serious about his dedication to the quality of movies. He writes under the name of "Larry H." and always concludes his reviews with his signature ending of "Rock 'n Roll." Larry is a native Texan and an Adjunct Professor at the Sugar Land campus of the University of Houston.
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