“Country Strong”, a movie about the rise of a star, and the fall of another. Just like the 113 minute duration of this film, the movie shows that there is an end to everything, and nothing lasts forever. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Garret Hedlund, Tim McGraw, and Leighton Meester, this film is enjoyable to both country fans others alike because of its real and captivating plot.
From the very moment the film starts and we hear Garret Hedlund’s voice throughout the theater singing, we can tell this isn’t just another country movie where all the characters do is sing away their sorrows. This movie is not just about country music, but what can happen when you make it your life, and sometimes fame is the price you have to pay. The movie begins with Gwyneth Paltrow as Kelly Canter, a “recovering” alcoholic who just got out of rehab, but as said in the movie, “Don’t take somebody out of rehab before the rehab.” Kelly may define the meaning of damaged and she shows us that even the strongest of people can fall apart. A former country singer, Kelly is checked out by her husband who decides that her way of recovering and getting back into the business is by going back on tour.
Her husband James Carter played by Tim McGraw, is one of the few people that still believes she can get her career back and at the same time, recover as an alcoholic. Although he looks to be pushy at times and seems to only care about her career, you can tell he believes in Kelly and is always there when she messes up. Along with him, Beau Hutton (Garret Hedlund) also is one of the few that doesn’t think the country star is crazy.
Beau first appears as a country singer, playing in bars and not considered a big star. We then learn he works at the rehab center with Kelly; they are friends. The relationship is not only based on friendship but romance. He is asked to open up for her on tour and agrees to go as well as to help take care of her. Beau is always there by Kelly’s side even when there are times he isn’t able to stop her from making more mistakes. There are few people that still think Kelly can make it including her fans, but Beau might be the one that understands the most. Their relationship is interesting, and there is a connection, but that doesn’t mean they’re meant to be together.
Also on tour, Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester) the ultimate beauty queen is involved in this love triangle. In the surface, she appears as a stupid shallow princess who has a bad case of stage fright, but we later learn about the deep thoughts in her mind by listening to her music as soon as she gets over her stage fright. At first, Beau makes fun of Chiles and doesn’t believe she sings real music, but he soon sees through her and falls for her.
The film is an amazing combination of love, sadness, aspiration defeat, loss, and great country music. Every seen is hard to watch as Kelly breaks down and Gwyneth Paltrow really captures Kelly’s character and makes us feel and truly comprehend the trouble that come with fame and how sometimes it’s either that or love. All the actors do an amazing job, really showing what it is to enter into the world of country music, and not only show how it can be inspirational and even life saving, but also devastating.
Whether you simply want to watch a good movie along with a great soundtrack or experience true feelings, I recommend this movie. You will not only enjoy the film, but will want to go straight home and download its soundtrack. “Country Strong” has good factors like good music and an interesting story that make a movie worth watching. We watch as dreams are lived and some are ended, and we can finally understand its powerful title.