A drama centered on a rising country-music songwriter (Hedlund) who sparks with a fallen star (Paltrow). Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husbandmanager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester).
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One of my biggest pet peeves with my friends and others that I talk to about movies is when they love a movie based solely on a great ending. They'll rave about some major twist, some great final sequence, but totally forget a bunch of stupid stuff prior. That being said, I am attempting not to be the complete opposite type of person while applying my same overall principle - because my instinct wants to completely pan Country Strong for what is certainly one of the worst movie endings I've seen in quite some time...maybe ever. I need to judge the film as a whole, so let's get to it then...Country Strong is the story of three country singers. One, Kelly Cantor (Gwenyth Paltrow), is a seasoned singer whose part Faith Hill and part Lindsay Lohan. The movie begins with her leaving rehab (for alcohol abuse), forced to leave early by her angry (or misunderstood?) husband/manager (Tim McGraw) who seemingly wants to see her back on the road making money. While in rehab, she met an up-and-coming star who worked in the facility, who coincidentally also knows another up-and-coming star who coincidentally Cantor's husband is looking into to be a new opening act, coincidentally. Coincidentally. Coincidentally. My word the beginning of this movie was almost as bad as the end. There is so much cooking here, and almost none of it is believable.In the middle though, once we forgive all of the coincidences, the story hits it's stride and becomes, dare I say it, immensely entertaining. The music wasn't half bad for the amount of original material they made for the film. I actually began really liking the characters - the acting was very good, and I thought I might end up liking the overall experience. And then the last five minutes happen. My word. So terrible. I'm sorry, this review is not eloquent, but it's just that bad. The screenwriter/director, Shana Feste, should be utterly ashamed how she betrayed the overall message of the movie in the last few scenes. This was supposed to be a movie about redemption, not some bad soap opera. You may not hate the movie, but I will lose respect for you if you don't hate the ending.
Kelly Canter ( Gwyneth Paltrow) is a country music superstar who has been pulled out of rehab early by her pushy husband manager ( Tim Mcgraw) to go on a comeback tour of sorts. Kelly is not eager because she is still recovering not just from alcohol addiction but also from a devastating tragedy. She does, however reluctantly agree only if she has Beau Hutton, a man with whom she is having a affair ( Garett Hedlund) as a supporting act on the tour. As her husband tries to put together the tour, we get a glimpse at the sad and lonely lives of these superstars and generally life of a band on the road.There are a couple of scenes which are amazing, 1.The singing in classroom at the Make- a -Wish Foundation event. 2. Gywneth Paltrow, giving advice in the dressing room to Meester (Chiles Stanton) towards the end of the film. 3. The look on the face of Garett Hedlund as he reacts to the crowd cheering the rising star Chiles.I heard a lot of criticisms of this movie; however I found the movie interesting and well acted. Each of the main characters gives some fine performances, Tim Mcgraw is excellent,trying to fulfill his dual roles as manager and husband, Garett Hedlund and Leighton Meeser are good. Gwyneth Paltrow still looks amazing and acts well. The songs were great for me because I love country music. This movie is not as strong as Crazy Heart, another film about country music starring Jeff Bridges but it has its own charms. I liked the film a lot. 4 stars. 6/20/2011
Overall I enjoyed this movie and was glad that I went to see it. I am ahuge country music fan and big fan of Tim and the excellent soundtrackalone made it worth it. I'm not totally sure someone who doesn't likecountry would enjoy it as much as I did though. Overall the acting waspretty good. The only problem I has was with Paltrow. For it to work asan actor in this movie I think you had to already be associated withcountry (like McGraw)or be a little more unknown (like Hedlund).Paltrow, while I think she is an OK actress, she is neither of thesethings. As much as I was into this movie the whole time (which isunusual for me in a movie this length...I didn't even look at my watchonce) I never fully bought into her being the strong woman I associateas being country musicians. I see her as that weak character frommovies like Se7en and neither her acting or singing were nearly strongenough for me to change that image. Fortunately the story were splitpretty evenly between the four leads so It wasn't a waste for me.
Been waiting months for this dvd to come out. Movie never came to theaters in my area. Loved all the great country music, cast and wardrobes. Must see and must buy :)
So this is officially the VERY first time I am writing a Review on Amazon. Which is pretty surprising since I'm a huge Movie and Music buff. I literally just got done watching Country Strong and I jumped on here to find out if a I could buy a Soundtrack. I was never a huge country fan but I am a fan of Hayes Carll who is an amazing musician and someone who is very over looked. I was so surprised to hear Garrett Hedlund singing some of his songs in this movie and I hope more people get turned on to Hayes cause both his CD's are two of my favorites.Moving on..I felt the need to write a review of this movie simply because I wanted so badly to give it props. I really really Loved it and I think the entire cast did an amazing job. This was the first time I have ever scene Garrett Hedlund but I must say I am beyond smitten. Ha! It might have something to do with the fact he reminds me of a young Viggo Mortensen and Viggo is def my all time favorite actor. Another brilliant man who is at times over looked. SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! It really has heart, not to mention great music and I got teared up in the end which doesn't happen often. I hate that there are some people who said it was slow or just not good at all. I don't get it. This is a character driven movie that represents REAL people with REAL flaws and REAL Passions.I can't say enough about it. It was def a movie I'm going to buy RIGHT AWAY..I'm also going to buy the soundtrack...and I'm def a new fan of Garrett Hedlund. I have a feeling we will def be seeing him around much more. And of course as always Leighton Meester was amazing. She is already a star. Oh and I don't mean to focus only on the young part of the cast...Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw where GREAT. But the romantic in me of course can't help but think Garrett and Leighton stole the show.This movie had Walk the Line, and a Thing called love written all over it. And yet it is different and unique in it's own way.
This review is from: Country Strong (Amazon Instant Video) ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ......I SHOULD HAVE GIVEN IT THREE STARS BECAUSE THIS MOVIE WORKED BETTER THAN AMBIEN. THE BEST NIGHT'S SLEEP I'VE HAD IN A LONG TIME!!!
So, Gwenny Paltrow finally got her "singin'" movie. This was inevitableafter she belted out all those hits you can't remember in "Duets" someyears back. What better way to trot out those whiny chops than acustom-made role in a vehicle that never gets out of first gear like"Country Strong"? In it's own way, country music is as perplexing asheavy metal or opera, a place known only to die-hard fans. Evidently,this movie was supposed to enlighten the audience as to the innerstruggles of those involved in the country music business, the famousand the wanna-bes alike. Four major characters are involved in thisstory of grits and glamour, but none of them resonate. Ms. Paltrow has"issues", but they're not examined to any degree to make anyone reallysympathize with her. By the time she kills herself at the end, you'rerelieved instead of sorry. Tim McGraw needs to put the brakes on his"acting" career since he's better off singing. Here he merely repriseshis role from "The Blind Side" only now he's grown a beard andsurprise! he doesn't sing at all (gasp). We never know his realintentions towards his damaged wifey, for all that he grimaces andbrings nothing to the movie a cardboard cutout couldn't. LeightonMeester could have been cut out of this movie and never missed at all.The only saving grace to this muddled and ultimately depressing storyof drama and name-dropping (Waylon, Willie, Merle,etc.) is GarrettHedlund. Somehow, he manages to bring some semblance of humanity to hischaracter Beau. He also displays a robust and authentic singing voice,which is given the movie's most engaging song "Give In to Me". Otherthan that, "Country Strong" isn't much more than an expensive, glossy,and downright dull exercise in clichÃ©s served with molasses and hominyon the side. Gwenny Paltrow ain't no Loretta Lynn, heck, she ain't evenSissy Spacek either. Avoid this faux-country annoyance and watch "CoalMiner's Daughter" again.
This review is from: Country Strong [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) I really enjoyed this movie at the theater. We listen to the soundtrack in the car while traveling. We have watched the Blu-Ray version of Country Strong at least 10 times in our home. I am sure there was some doctoring to the voices of the celebrities, but even knowing some of the shortfalls, the music will keep you coming back again and again. If you like country this is worth a look.
This review is from: Country Strong (DVD) Great movie, even though it made me cry. Good story line, great cast, I would recommend it to everyone.
This review is from: Country Strong [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) My name is Juan and I am writing from Spain. I purchased this blu-ray a few days ago, even though the product description read "region 1". That is completely wrong, again. I say "again" because I purchased "Morning Glory" a few weeks ago, even though that product description read "region 1" too. I was so pleasantly surprised when I got my movies and found that they are both region A, B, C, in other words, those movies will play anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact, another blu-ray is on its way. I purchased "Rabbit Hole" last Monday. I am sure it will be all region too. I do beg Amazon to provide the right information so we, customers, do not need to fret till we get the disc and see for ourselves whether or not it plays. Anyway, this is a jewel of a movie. I cannot understand why our great and dear Gwyneth Paltrow would not get an Oscar nomination. I loved everything about this movie. The script, the acting, and of course, HER singing. Even if you do not like it all that much you will not be disappointed at all. You will, at least, have a good time.Thank you for reading my review.......and again, please, Amazon, provide the correct information so that many customers like me will be thrilled to learn that they can buy movies that will play in their countries.
A couple of weeks before its opening, Shana Festa's Country Strong was gaining hype. Gweneth Paltrow was making appearances on music awards shows left and right, and the film itself was being promoted as kind of a Country "All about Eve". Before viewing the film, I felt that this would be about the unbridled rivalry between an upcoming and fading star. Now that I have seen Country Strong, I realize how unfitting that description is. Country Strong is not really a film about the dying and replacing of a star but rather the process (and self-pitying) that comes with ressurecting one. This could've been an interesting film about today's country music scene. But Alas we are stuck with a group of unlikable characters, a screenplay that is more interested in slogging through unneeded melodrama and back stage cliches, and a floundering mess of a film. If I could describe this film in one word it would be aimless. This film literally had absolutly no idea where it was going. The majority of this film is spent in 1 repititious cycle. 1)Someone plays a song2)Kelly gets upset3)Kelly gets better4)Goes to different town 5)Repeat!In between that we are given meaningless conversations, sparks between stars, and absolutly nothing insightful about life in the music business. I wasn't expecting Altman's "Nashville" but at least something a tad deeper then "who's going to fall in love with who" or "will Kelly triumph in the end". I will give this film credit for some good performances. The whole cast has singing talent, and some of these songs rise above CMT fare. My only problem with this is that the script doesn't do much to make us care about the singers behind the songs.We want to like Kelly, Beau, James, and Chiles But this script doesn't know how to take them beyond one demension. Even in Kelly's most heartbreaking states, I could not feel sorry for her because this film refused to show us a side of her that wasn't selfish or shallow. The film doesn't want to go into detail about her alcohol abuse or rehab troubles, only wanting to skip to the heartwrenching scenes where Beau has to the tear the bottle away from her. All of the other characters try just as hard to win our hearts, except for Tim McGraw; who oddly reminds me of a supervillian here (his Kyle McLaughlin hairstyle says it all), But all of this comes to no avail.Throughout Country Strong I kept hoping for interesting scenarios to happen, anything more interesting then this. Maybe James and Chiles could have an affair, or Beau could be pretending to swoon Kelly to raise his own stardom, or James ends up being a member of an evil conglomerate trying to hypnotize the world with country pop. Hell anything to break the long driven road we've all been on before. Not to mention the meandering string of endless backstage scenes and trips to each cast member's hotel rooms. There are a few shining moments here: The Make a wish foundation scene and the 4 second train sequence, but they are only mere reminders of Country Strong's lost potential. It is not the film about fame it was probably meant to be, it is a film about a famous woman who can't do anything but pity herself and the people around her who can't do anything but pity her. That is what I received from this film anyways, many others will have different opinions. All I know is that this film didn't give me any new insights on fame or the country music scene. Instead it made me realize just how many times a storyline can be re-hashed before its dead. I will give it 2 stars for some good music, Beau's cover of "Silver Wings" was a hit for me. But overall the film was a misfire, and far from the Country "All About Eve" this film could've been. Trust me if there's anything this film needed, it was a few Eve Harringtons.Overall rating: 2/5Pros: Sub-Par Acting, Some good songs.Cons: Cliches, Bad script, predictable, unlikeable characters, overall forgettable
I was a bit skeptical about this film, as a coworker of mine spoiledthe ending, but I decided to give it a try due to the well-known cast,and I am not in the least disappointed that I did. Gywneth Paltrowgives what may be one of her best performances yet, which is saying alot for such a superb actress. Her character is genuine, beautiful andheartbreaking. The storyline is fantastic, and even though I am not abig fan of Country Music, the music in this film is amazing.Not only does Paltrow give a fascinating performance, but her co-starswere just as dedicated and honest. I didn't want the film to end, butonce the credits started rolling, I had no regrets that I had watchedthis movie, and was surprised at how utterly realistic and true thestory was.Worth a watch!
This review is from: Country Strong (Amazon Instant Video) The actors are really good, especially Gwyneth Paltrow. Good story, good chemistry, I really enjoyed it. She would make a great country star!
I really liked this movie, despite what the previous reviews said. It was slow in a couple of scenes but overall, enjoyable enough to add to my movie collection. Gwyneth has a great voice and I'm surprised she hasn't made a career of it. Garrett Hedlund has a sensual deep voice that he should look into making a career of it, as well. Just an overall good movie, however upsetting the ending was.
Gwyneth Paltrow's performance was superb as usual but I really wasimpressed by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester. Hedlund played BeauHutton who is every woman's dream--a hunk who cares more about thepeople in his life than his own fame and fortune. Meester plays ChilesStanton, a beautiful and very talented singer who's career has suffereddue to her serious insecurities. Together they have great chemistry andI found myself routing for them more than Kelly Canter. It was a prettypredictable plot and I'm getting a little tired of stories about actorscoming our of rehab, but overall it was a very entertaining andenjoyable movie particularly if you like great country music.
Who knew Gwyneth Paltrow could sing? She was amazing in this, not just with the singing and performing, but acting too. I forgot I was watching her. She had some help of course with an incredibly talented supporting cast that included Garrett Hedlund who just came off his high on Tron. He plays a very different guy here, so much so that you barely recognize him. Newcomer, Leighton Meester, does a splendid job as the green ingenue. And of course who can forget real life country singer, Tim McGraw who plays Gwyneth's husband. I didn't even realize I was watching the famous country singer until the credits rolled. This is a great movie about overcoming addiction and coming out on top. The country singing performances are in abundance throughout and are fantastic.
My wife & I went to the screening of this movie (7/15/10)not knowing alot about it. We just knew it had country music in it. Not beingcountry music fans we were not sure how we would like it. We boththought it was a great movie. The acting, story & music was excellent.Iam not able to go into too much detail abut the movie yet. But willwhen the trailers are released. I believe you will enjoy this moviegreatly! It is hard to compare it with other movies I have seen but Iguess you would call it a Drama / romance movie. I think it will appealto people in their 20's and up. Maybe a date movie? This movie is NOTjust for people that like Country Music. As I stated I am not a Countrymusic fan but came out thinking I would not mind owning the soundtrack.It is a must see when it comes out in Dec. You will not be disappointed
I think I was ovulating by the closing scenes -- one of the most estrogen-soaked movies I've ever seen. The role of the two lead men in the movie is to fawn over the two women, neither of whom is close to being worthy (for different reasons), although Paltrow has righteous stems and makes good use of short dresses and high heels to show them off. Tim McGraw, as Paltrow's suffering husband/business manager, proves that as an actor, he can furrow his brow with concern. Garrett Hedlund, the younger lead male, does an impersonation of Hayes Carll that turns funny, bad-ass Hayes into a wimp. I'm sure Hayes went out and got drunk after watching this awful flick.Spoiler: Gwyneth Paltrow kills herself for no reason at the end of the movie, unless it was out of embarrassment.
As a relatively new fan of country music, I must say I was disappointedin this movie. It had its moments, but overall I cannot recommend it.The clumsy, disconnected screenplay was probably the worst aspect ofthe film as it gave the actors little to work with. There didn't seemto be much continuity to the film, but just a bunch of scenes throwntogether. Aside from her singing the title song, there was nothingabout the main character (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) that was remotelystrong, and the ending was hardly inspiring in that regard. I cringedthrough the first half of the movie, which seemed to go overboard inportraying her flaws and failures, and wondered how much lower shewould get before she turned things around. It was quite depressing,with no "payoff" at the end to make it worthwhile.What the movie does have is some pretty good music. Paltrow, GarrettHedlund, and Leighton Meester all sang quite well and almost made thismovie worth seeing. Hedlund gave the best acting performance, andMeester wasn't bad. But I was quite disappointed in Tim McGraw's effortand feel it was the weakest of his budding career. I don't know if itwas because he was playing an insensitive jerk as opposed to the niceguys of his previous roles, but he seemed strained and unnatural. Andas well as Paltrow sang, and as much as I have enjoyed previous work byher, she was unconvincing in her portrayal of a country superstar(limited in part by the poor script, as noted earlier). The charismajust wasn't there.Seeing a movie like this makes me appreciate well-written andwell-acted movies all the more. They have a unifying theme that takesyou somewhere and ties things together at the end (unless, of course,there is to be a sequel). "Country Strong" just didn't have what ittakes, but ending up looking more like a direct-to-video film. Itshould have been titled "Country Pathetic."
This movie may be called country strong but its more like country weak. The plot is disjointed and derivative. The acting was unconvincing. Gweneth Paltrow was not believable in the lead role either in her acting or her singing.