The enduring friendship between the Walling and Ostroff families is tested when Nina, the prodigal Ostroff daughter, returns home for the holidays after a five-year absence and enters into an affair with David, head of the Walling family.
Surrounded by wealth and living with abundant resources in Manhattan, 12-year-old cello prodigy Reggie, lives a solitary life lacking only frequently absent parents and friends. Estranged from family, having slacker boyfriend troubles, and fired from her waitressing job, sometimes musician 23-year-old Eleanor needs a new place to live and a new job.
Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist, Dr. Finch, and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch's bizarre extended family.
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 with Beau in her hotel room and James knocks on the door, Chiles is seen putting on her red and gray baseball style shirt twice. See more »
I loved this movie. It wasn't what I expected at all, but I really enjoyed it and did tear up a couple of times. I have to say I am very surprised by the harsh reviews by critics and some of the users on here!
The movie is a bit too long at almost 2 hours. I think a couple of the acting scenes were repetitive, but I am glad they did not cut any of the music they had. There is a LOT of music but the actors all pull it off quite well, with some of the songs actually being recognizable as real country songs if you are familiar with the genre.
I must admit I am a huge country music fan and I like all country, not just the newer pop stuff. So take my review knowing that. However, I did take 3 people with me to the advance screening and 2 of them listen to NO country music. All 4 of us thought the movie was great. Three of us cried.
I think the previews are marketing the movie all wrong. It looks like it will be an uplifting film that shows us the bad stuff in the beginning, then maybe a bump or two, then everybody winds up happy and "Country Strong." This is not the case at all.
It is a sad look at addiction but I think more realistic than someone coming out of rehab and everything being sunshine and lollipops. The characters are all flawed, with perhaps Beau being the only one who comes out in a mostly positive light, but even he has his issues and is far from perfect.
It also looks like Gwyneth is the only lead in the previews, but all 4 major characters have quite a large amount of time on screen and I think Beau has the same (or maybe even more) screen time as Gwyneth. I had never heard of this actor (had no clue he has the lead in TRON) and I came home to look him up immediately because I thought surely he was a real up and coming country singer.
Gwyneth's voice is really good, and if Garrett or Leighton ever made a country album, I would buy it. Tim doesn't sing in the movie but has a song on the soundtrack, but that was the way he wanted it and I respect him for that. This was the first movie of Tim's where I did forget at least a couple of times that I was looking at "THE" Tim McGraw. He was fine in Blindside, but it was a small role.
If you have a passionate hatred for country, I do not think you will enjoy the movie because there is a lot of singing in it. However, you do not need to love country as I do to enjoy it. If you can so much as tolerate it or accept the singers as being talented, I think you'll be fine.
I plan to buy the soundtrack, but wish it had more from Garrett and Leighton because they each sang a lot more than 1 song in the movie!
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