You do not have to be a fan of country music to enjoy this film.  For those of you who are worried that it will be a showcase of concert footage you do not have to worry as well.  This movie is more about the characters and how they interact and deal with each other.  This film is a good kick-off for dramas in 2011.

The story follows Kelly Canter (Paltrow) as she leaves rehab to save a career by doing a concert series in Texas.  When I say leaves I mean withdrawn out by her husband James (McGraw).  In order to help her long road to recovery she asks that her sponsor/lover/ aspiring writer/songwriter, Beau (Hedlund) be the opening act for the show.  This does not fair well with James because he has his eyes on a beauty queen who sings pop-country music, Chiles Stanton (Meester).  The story takes us to the dark places an alcoholic can take the people they love and the good things that can happen when you have love in your heart.  In the end a love is diminshed and another one blooms. 

Elizabeth’s Thoughts:

This film shows the story of a once country super star who passes the torch to the future generation.  Paltrow was great in the scenes that were at Kelly Canter’s lowest and she was great during her musical performances.  Tim McGraw… keep acting, I love it!  One of the highlights for me was Garrett Hedlund.  He is not new to the big screen but has been making good choices for roles to get his face out there.  And yes, that is his deep voice when he is singing in the movie.  I usually cry during emotional scenes but I didn’t in this film because it just made sense what happens towards the end.  I also am a fan of the music .  I say give this movie a chance, 3/5 cowboy hats!!

Sunshine’s Thoughts:

I was pleasantly suprised by Country Strong.  Garrett Hedlund’s singing was amazing and made me fall just a little bit more in love with him, and that swagger in a pair of jeans did not hurt anything!  I am still not a fan of Paltrow though I will say she made a decent showing in this movie, I just can’t picture her being country.  Tim McGraw was impressive as usual in his role and should embrace acting full time.  Leighton Meester was also suprising coming from Gossip Girl and demonstrated a decent voice.  All in all it was worth my money, I agree with Liz and give it 3 out of 5 cowboy hats.

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About Elizabeth

I am the co-creator of S and E Pop Culture. I currently live and work in East Tennessee. I love to watch, talk and write about all things popculture. Check out the blog sepopculture.wordpress.com and let me know what you think.

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