Country Strong Reviews
I have never found Gwyneth Paltrow to be a good actress, but I'm glad that I was pleasantly surprised by her in this one. I didn't get irritated by her, or anyone else for that matter. I just saw it from start to finish without having anything to complain on.
The soundtrack was astonishing, the music gave me goosebumps. This movie managed to appeal to me from the first sentence until the very end and the amazing music and lyrics was definitely the icing on the cake.
I thought the script was generally good with few wasted words. It's often what's NOT said that makes this watchable - clearly the Hedlund and Paltrow characters have crossed the line beyond 'sponsorship' but this is not shoved in our faces, and the details are cleverly left unresolved. The scene with the leukaemia boy is heavily criticised but I found it totally straightforward - it gives Kelly a bittersweet moment to remember that her disastrous marital and addiction problems are actually less than those of some others, and she is able, for a few minutes, to find her original 'pre-star' self and the first innocence of her relationship with McGraw's character.
I also found that the effect of the film depends on listening with high-quality sound or headphones - I would defy even non-country lovers not to be moved by the genuine quality of the live-performed music, for example in the early scene where Hedlund rescues Meester; just watching the band playing actually gave me goosebumps...
RT gives Premium Rush 76% - I'm not a dispatch rider but I found that film totally forgettable - and compared to this the 22% for Country Strong is ridiculous.