In 'Country Strong,' Gwyneth Paltrow charts the fall and shaky rise of a Faith Hill-style singer.
Scott Garfield/Sony-Screen Gems/AP
"Country Strong" is the latest and, in many ways, the least impressive entrant in the achy-breaky sweepstakes. It stars Gwyneth Paltrow as superstar Kelly Canter, a Faith Hill-style singer whom we first encounter drying out in rehab. Paltrow doesn't make many movies these days, so the question is: Why this one?
The answer is obvious. This is an Oscar-size role she can really sink her teeth into. The bigness of the role, however, doesn't match its middling execution. Paltrow isn't bad – she even does her own singing – but writer-director Shana Feste hasn't done much to rehabilitate a very tired conception. (As an example of how to do it right, check out "Nashville," with Ronee Blakley's classic performance as a rehabbed wreck of a star, or "Payday," with Rip Torn.)