Monday, January 10, 2011

Country Strong

Gwyneth Paltrow is an excellent actress and I don't think she ever gives a bad performance. She lived with her family in Nashville for the filming of the movie and became friends with her co-star Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill. She can sing and also (at least as far as a movie goer can tell) plays a decent guitar as alchohlic country star Kelly Canter. Garrett Hedlund is Beau Hutton, a deep voiced singer/songwriter who opens for Kelly's out-of-rehab Encore tour along with Leighton Meester's Chiles Stanton, a former beauty-queen with stage fright. In her first scene, Chiles is supposed to be annoying, more about making it big than the love of music that Beau is motivated by. Chiles never had that "I just want to punch her" feeling that Taylor Swift elicits out of me. Her character definitely develops and grows throughout the movie.
The movie was a lot darker than I expected. There were several elements that I found myself very unprepared for and surprised by. At least it was not limited to what one could predict from the trailers, that's not good. I will say some of these bleaker moments now color my feelings when hearing the movie's title song, Country Strong. Though briefly heard in the movie, Shake That Thing is a really fun, pop-y track. I think on its own it would do very well. While this is a movie about music, you may have noticed that I tend to comment on the song choices and what I notice about the score of the pictures I see. I think that music is a very important element of any movie. Music is emotive and when used well, it can perfectly compliment any movie. It should not be depended on in place of strong writing or acting, but its significant all the same. I wish that there was a way for me to play a song over specific blog entries. If anyone knows how to achieve this, please let me know.

Side notes of today's blog: What is up with the previews lately?! Are the demographics just off or what?! I understand the action and more male skewed trailers before the Fighter, but the ones before Country Strong were just plan random. Maybe there were many demos in that theater, it was packed, but I do not want to see Prom by Disney or The Roommate, horror lite.

I also keep reading about how overall ticket sales were down in 2010. Well for the last few weeks, the end of 2010 and the start of 2011, the theaters have been packed! Long lines and sometimes later showings seen. Even with pre-purchase. Go figure.

The Golden Globes are this Sunday, starting at 5pm Pacific time, on nbc, hosted by Ricky Gervais.

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