The film of the week is “Country Strong.” It’s a drama that proves that actress Gwyneth Paltrow can sing, but if you watch “Glee” on Fox, you already knew that.
So grab your hat and boots as I weigh in on her latest film.
On the surface “Country Strong” is about a veteran country star who has fallen far from grace and her attempt at a comeback tour with two young protégés in tow. But on a deeper level, the film is about talent and fame and how the choices we make can corrupt us or make us stronger.
Long time viewers of Showtime with Sasha laughed when I reviewed “Inception” and never once mentioned Leonardo DiCaprio. Likewise, last week I showcased “Tron Legacy” and made very little mention of its star Garrett Hedlund.
Why is that?
Well, it’s simple really. Many films feature a main character who is like an anchor. He’s a level-headed everyman and through him we experience the story. Often his or her performance isn’t what stands out the most.
So I’m glad to be able to review two Garrett Hedlund films back to back. He may not have done anything truly dynamic for “Tron Legacy” (aside from looking pretty), but in “Country Strong,” he steals the show.
OK, so “country Barbie” Leighton Meester is also amazing. Seriously, who knew she had an inner Anna Kendrick? I compare her to the supporting “Twilight” cast member, because she too went from somewhat of a nobody actress to earning an Oscar nom for her work in “Up in the Air” with George Clooney.
But when I went to iTunes to download some infectious tracks from the film, they were all songs that Hedlund sang that I wanted for my music library (except for one duet with Meester). Just as the character of Maddie Ross surprises audiences by turning out to be the one with “True Grit” in that picture, Hedlund’s Beau Hutton seems to be the only character in the end who is actually “Country Strong.”
I’m a fan! I think you will be, too, especially if you love music.