Country Strong could be stronger…

The young hero, Beau Hutton says “I enjoy playing music, I don’t care who’s it for.”  And you believe him.  He is a diamond in the rough.  A singer/songwriter that has a natural talent and likes the honky-tonks he performs in.  

Beau, played perfectly by Garrett Headlum gets caught up in some drama by the famous Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is trying to relaunch her career (he is part of her opening act) and begins a love triangle with Kelly and the beauty queen, wanna be famous singer Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester).  Underused character is James Canter (Tim McGraw), who is Kelly’s managing (accepting) husband–who is struggling  with Kelly’s demons from her past.

The story is entertaining.  Simple, yet effective.  A clear comparison of the up and coming against the misery at the end of rainbow.  The acting is solid.  Hard to believe Garrett Headlum is the same actor from Tron and Tim McGraw again proves he has some raw talent.  The music is very good, to the point that I wish there was more of it on the screen. 

My problem with the movie is the direction and editing.  It is a disjointed mess.  One scene Kelly and Beau are in a moving freight train (don’t even know how that came to be) and then it jumps to them wet and out of the shower, I presume because there is no segue–they just appear wrapped in towels.  Then Beau is in a dive bar. Yeah? I know.  There were times that I was like… wait–what?–oh, she has on the same outfit, so it must be the same day.  I was never lost, just a bit turned around. 

It is not enough for me to hate the movie, but it is enough for me not to totally love it either.  

If you like the cast, enjoy country music, and don’t mind the jumpy ride–you can invest two hours of your life and then go purchase the soundtrack–it’s the best part!