DVD: Country Strong

If ever there was a woman who should be seen and not heard it is Gwyneth Paltrow.  I find her stunningly beautiful, but every time she opens her mouth off-screen she sounds awesomely shallow, spoiled rotten and anti-American.

In fact, I can’t help wondering if the expatriate actress took this role as an alcoholic country star in a desperate attempt to win her way back into the hearts and minds of the audience who made her parents and then her rich and famous.

Ah well.  Nice try.  It’s not the worst film ever made.  I liked the music – but I like country music in general.  I thought the performances were all very good.  Paltrow deserves credit for her brave willingness to look about as lousy as she can during her character’s bouts with booze and self-pity.  Garett Hedlund seems like a star about to happen.  And Tim McGraw turns in an excellent and understated performance as Paltrow’s husband/manager.  (McGraw, one of the best country singers out there, is the only featured player who never sings a note, which seems sort of like an annoying inside joke.)

But the direction is slow and the script cliched (both are by Shana Feste).  And while there’s plenty of soap opera with this one screwing that one and then moving on to another, it’s none of it very emotional or involving.  I wanted to see it because of the subject.  I stuck with it for the songs.  Basically, if you miss it you’ll never miss it.  If you see what I mean.

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