Country Strong (12A)
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw
Friday 25 March 2011
Gwyneth Paltrow does a distaff version of Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, playing a Nashville country star who's troubled by drink and age. Garrett Hedlund plays the handsome honky-tonk singer who's her rehab minder and possibly a Kris Kristofferson love object. Completing the triangle is Tim McGraw as Paltrow's controlling husband and manager who's determined to put her on the comeback trail.
The good news is that Paltrow can sing; the bad news is the mawkish and one-paced drama she's playing in. Every crisis arrives on cue, just as every ballad twangingly comments on the tale we're being told. There's a brief whiff of All About Eve in the character of a Beauty Pageant show-pony (Leighton Meester) who's being groomed for stardom, but this proves a false trail. What it's really about is Paltrow's overwhelming neediness ("How talented d'you think I am?") and her inability to get through a scene without bursting into tears.
Just in case we don't understand how sensitive she is, she keeps a broken-winged baby quail as a pet. Ahh... or rather, ugh. Aside from one or two amiable moments of spontaneity, this has about as much dynamism as a plate of refried beans.
Arts & Ents blogs
Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch 'first sexy Holmes', says Mark Gatiss
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jessica Alba interview: From Hollywood superwoman to household product CEO
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles financially despite Oscar nomination
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it