A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
A drama centered on a rising country-music songwriter (Hedlund) who sparks with a fallen star (Paltrow). Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husband/manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester). Written by
Gwyneth Paltrow stated in an interview for "Chelsea Lately" (2007) that she considered challenging to portray the character of Kelly Canter and to prepare for the role she emailed Robert Downey Jr. (who's been sober for a very long time) seeking for help for her to understand the process of addiction and rehabilitation, and he wrote her back with "the most amazing email" which really helped her. See more »
When Chiles is singing, during the bar scene after she freezes, the microphone stand behind her keeps moving. See more »
Give In To Me
Written by Billy Falcon, Rose Falcon and Elisha Hoffman
Produced by Nathan Chapman
Performed by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester appears courtesy of Time Act Music/Universal Republic Records See more »
Great Film, Great Performances - Surprised at the low IMDb Rating?
Since I'm fond of good country music I thought I'd give this a try, despite not being very keen on Gwyneth Paltrow. However, in this movie she gives a storming performance as a famous country singer, gradually falling apart with depression and alcohol - and she has a great voice! Yes that really is Gwyneth singing in the film.
The good news doesn't end there because the supporting cast are just as good, Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester were fantastic and so good as country singers that I immediately looked for their albums, but apart from the Country Strong Soundtrack, there aren't any! These are just great actors with great voices. Add in a strong performance from Tim McGraw (Oh why cant you just love your woman? - that's all she needs!!).
With fine, layered performances from all and a storming soundtrack, this is definitely unmissable for any country music lover. I'm still humming the tunes days later.
By the way, be careful if buying the soundtrack album. There are two! The first has other artists covering many of the film's songs and though it's a good album, isn't strictly from the soundtrack in every case. The second album, with the same name, seems to have original performances from the film, but was out of stock and I have it on back order. I think this is the more popular one.
Anyway, if, like me, you don't watch films that score less than about 6 on IMDb, make this one an exception. You wont regret it!
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