Country Strong Reviews
It shows that Gwyneth knows the spangly high-powered joys of country music. Too bad that in Country Strong, she's too busy acting out the hysterical and mostly nonsensical sorrows.
If the point of Country Strong was to prove that Gwyneth Paltrow can sing, then mission accomplished. You don't need to sit through this two-hour melodrama to confirm that.
Shana Feste's screenplay seldom rises above the level of daytime TV; the only actor who triumphs over her trite dialogue is Tim McGraw in a nonsinging role as Paltrow's husband and manager.
While Paltrow belts out the title anthem with conviction, it is the younger performers who sing more intimate, and moving, numbers that advance the story rather than merely stating it.
Several good performances are left adrift, as the characters roam from scene to scene, singing (quite well) as they go. Even as a sort of long-form music video, it's disjointed.
The many tunes in Country Strong are of such astounding banality, it's as if they were written by caged chimps as they were driven through Nashville on the way to a medical research lab.