Country Strong, Final Destination and Other Noteworthy Surprises of 2011
Surprises too are often tied to expectation, or lack of it. The first film I saw in 2011 surprised me in part because it was the first film I saw in 2011 — that is, a film shunted onto the whistling heath of the January release schedule.
It was Shana Feste’s Country Strong, and it got a raw deal. Casting Gwyneth Paltrow as a country superstar is either a brave decision or an incredibly timid one — regardless, Paltrow stepped into an outsized role and very nearly filled it out. The supporting cast of Leighton Meester, Tim McGraw, and especially Garrett Hedlund give the celebrity melodrama human ballast, and Feste manages to pace a pretty slick story with moments of believable intimacy and alienation.
Read more at the Source
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