Friday, January 7, 2011

Country Strong

For those that were reading my Facebook or G-chat messages today I had to choose between an advance screening of "Country Strong" and "Season of the Witch". The question asked by Tessa was which one would I rather watch and the answer was neither. However, I decided that "Country Strong" had greater promise. My initial thought was that this would be a female version of last years "Crazy Heart" and to be honest it isn't that far off. Both center around a country music singer battling alcohol, both have a great soundtrack (look for a nomination for original song - but I don't care much for that category).

In "Country Strong", the lead is Gwyneth Paltrow, who is recovering from addiction, and is a rather sympathetic character that you just want to reach out and give a hug to and make the pain go away. The counter balance to Paltrow is the young and beautiful Leighton Meester who is a young rising star in the country music scene. Both have an attraction to Garret Hedlund who possibly has the best performance in the movie. Tim McGraw has another strong performance showing that his acting skills are improving. The lesson in the movie is that if you find love, do whatever you can to hold onto it; and love is the only important thing.

This movie follows a rather simple format with an average five act template. The back story is told through interviews and tv that the characters watch. I am not a big fan of this approach to telling a story, because it is a short cut that could have been solved with a tighter script. In the end the movie isn't terribly special and only receives 3 Quacks.

(screening 1/6/11, release date 1/7/11, location AMC Tyson's Corner 16)

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