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Country Strong
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Country Strong

4.0 4
Director: Shana Feste

Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund


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A fallen country star (Gwyneth Paltrow) strives to resurrect her ailing career with a little help from her supportive husband (Tim McGraw), an ambitious young songwriter (Garrett Hedlund), and an emerging country artist (Leighton Meester)


A fallen country star (Gwyneth Paltrow) strives to resurrect her ailing career with a little help from her supportive husband (Tim McGraw), an ambitious young songwriter (Garrett Hedlund), and an emerging country artist (Leighton Meester) with a rapidly growing fan base.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Like rock fans, country music fans respond to authenticity -- even if it's totally faked. When Country Strong, the sophomore effort of writer/director Shana Feste, stays inside a crumbling but not yet dead marriage, it feels like the real deal. Sadly, its clichéd ending feels like the paint-by-numbers conclusion that it is. The movie opens with country superstar Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) being pulled out of rehab by her husband/manager, James (Tim McGraw). He wants to get her back on tour so she can rebuild her tabloid train-wreck public image. She demands they bring along Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund), a worker at the rehab center who is both a talented local singer/songwriter and Kelly's secret lover. James initially resists, but gives in when he sees Beau calm the stage nerves of Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester), another local singer whom James wants to bring on the tour. As this foursome fall in and out of love, and in and out of each other's beds, Kelly falls deeper and deeper into alcoholism, even though James has planned a comeback show in Dallas -- one year to the day after a spectacular meltdown during a concert where the five-months-pregnant celeb fell ten feet from the stage in a drunken stupor. At its best, Country Strong gives us a look inside a marriage struggling through problems -- guilt, grief, and blame -- exacerbated by celebrity and wealth. Paltrow and McGraw are quite good. The Canters' relationship isn't black-and-white; they are both complex people full of love and disgust for each other and themselves. The moments the two share -- and they run the gamut from physical altercations to loving pillow talk -- do feel like the genuine result of a life lived together through some intense highs and lows. Kelly's addiction controls her, but not completely. She's self-destructive, to be sure, yet she's bright enough to see that it's happening, and to feel sorry for the others around her. Paltrow gets across this tragic quality with finesse, even when the script hammers the point home. For his part, Tim McGraw gives a smartly nuanced performance -- there's a ton going on inside James, but he's been playing the part of the placating manager for so long he can't quite stop, because it's more comfortable than being a husband to such a troubled woman. If the movie had focused primarily on the two of them, it would pack a much stronger punch, but instead we spend just as much time with Beau and Chiles. Hedlund, wearing scruffy facial hair throughout, looks like a cross between Brad Pitt and Dax Shepard. He's blandly appealing, like most new-country hat acts, which is unfortunate since the film wants us to believe he's the second coming of Townes Van Zandt. Meester actually does a fine job with what amounts to a classic ingenue role -- her scheming is endearingly inept. Their innocence-lost story arcs just aren't nearly as fascinating or complex as the other relationship in the movie. Many classic country songs are emotionally direct, and tackle messy feelings without necessarily resolving them. Many new-country songs are glossy, feel-good pop tunes that are instantly forgettable. Country Strong manages to start as the former, but ends as the latter.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Original ending ; Deleted scenes ; "Shake That Thing" extended performance with Gwyneth Paltrow; "Country Strong" music video featuring Gwyneth Paltrow; "A Little Bit Stronger" music video by Sara Evans

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gwyneth Paltrow Kelly Canter
Tim McGraw James Canter
Garrett Hedlund Beau Hutton
Leighton Meester Chiles Stanton
Marshall Chapman Winnie
Lari White Hair Stylist
Jeremy Childs JJ
JD Parker Joe
Lisa Stewart Seals Travis' Mom
Jackie Welch Teacher
Cinda McCain Misty
Gabe Sipos Travis
Sandra Harris Orderly
Megan Henderson Herself
Danny Beene Bob
Reegus Flenory Security Guard
Terri Minton James's Assistant
Ed Bruce Clint
Darrin Dickerson Tex
Alana Grace Ginny
Katie Groshong Richard's Assistant
Candace Michelle Coffee Denise
Katie Cook Gossip Show Host
Adam Skaggs PA #1
Travis Nicholson PA #2
Denita Odigie PR Girl in Classroom
Jeffrey Buckner Ford Richard
Jeri Sager Stylist
Kirt Lahew Biker
Ranjit Bhullar Doctor
Tina White Interviewee
Brett Warren Jesse Clark
Olivia Haley Fan
Jim Melton Fan
Holly Watson Interviewer
Brad Schmitt Interviewer
Cory Younts Beau's Bandmate
Skylar Wilson Beau's Bandmate
Josh Graham Beau's Bandmate
Chris Scruggs Beau's Bandmate
Loney Hutchins Beau's Bandmate
Ian Fitchuk Beau's Bandmate
Bucky Baxter Kelly's Bandmate
John Bohlinger Kelly's Bandmate
Neal Casal Kelly's Bandmate
Chris Clark Kelly's Bandmate
Jim Lauderdale Kelly's Bandmate
Doug Frasure Kelly's Bandmate
Amanda Shires Kelly's Bandmate
John Deaderick Kelly's Bandmate
Johnny Gates Chiles' Bandmate
Jamie Jarbeau Chiles' Bandmate
Matt Scanlon Chiles' Bandmate
Michael Ollin Lotten Chiles' Bandmate
Smith Curry Chiles' Bandmate
Kristen Wilkinson String Quartet Member
David Angeli String Quartet Member
Gregory Martin String Quartet Member
Sara Reist String Quartet Member
James Hamlet Honky Tonk Band Member
Steve Hinson Honky Tonk Band Member
Fred Eltringham Studio Band Member
Gary Nicholson Studio Band Member
Beau Stapleton Studio Band Member
Danny Flowers Studio Band Member
Nancy Amons Reporter
Jim Taylor Reporter
Jonathan Martin Reporter
Katrina Hagger Smith Reporter
Nick Beres Reporter
Kelly Sutton Reporter
Shane Tallant Reporter
Christine Maddela Reporter
Stephanie Langston Reporter

Technical Credits
Shana Feste Director,Screenwriter
Jennifer Albada Makeup
Terry Arthur Special Effects Supervisor
John Bailey Cinematographer
Stacey Battat Costumes/Costume Designer
David J. Bomba Production Designer
Michael Brook Score Composer
Liz Dean Casting
Jorjee Douglass Makeup
George Flynn Associate Producer
John Jensen Art Director
Sandy Jo Johnston Makeup
Anthony Little Asst. Director
Carol Littleton Editor
Tobey Maguire Producer
Conor O'Neill Editor
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Bob Shelley Special Effects Supervisor
Jenno Topping Producer
Meredith Zamsky Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Country Strong
1. Chapter 1 [9:46]
2. Chapter 2 [8:03]
3. Chapter 3 [4:53]
4. Chapter 4 [7:11]
5. Chapter 5 [6:43]
6. Chapter 6 [5:26]
7. Chapter 7 [7:00]
8. Chapter 8 [6:59]
9. Chapter 9 [5:28]
10. Chapter 10 [4:19]
11. Chapter 11 [4:36]
12. Chapter 12 [5:15]
13. Chapter 13 [5:34]
14. Chapter 14 [5:56]
15. Chapter 15 [7:56]
16. Chapter 16 [8:29]


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Country Strong 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Lippylu More than 1 year ago
I thought Tim McGraw was really believable in this role...Gwyneth portrayed her character so well you could believe the emptiness she felt and her singing is really terrific. I loved the concert scenes. Her closing song, "Coming Home" was filled with so much emotion. Garrett's voice is smooth as silk. I had no idea he could even sing! I downloaded most of the songs from this movie. I love them! I watched this movie three times in one weekend. It just really pulled on my heartstrings.
Iloveagoodbook More than 1 year ago
People say this movie is bad. Perhaps certain scenes are, like Leighton Meester's scenes (her acting seems over-done), but the overall feeling is really good. I had listened to the songs on the album way before watching the movie, and some of the songs sung by Gwyneth are my favorite songs ever. I love the feeling involved in them, cause I can relate to the sadness. When I watched the movie, I really felt Gwyneth's pain. The depression, the lack of love in the marriage. I can imagine how hard it must be to have a husband more concerned with being your manager than being your husband. I think the storyline is good, and I think the movie was really moving. Will be watching it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DragonHeart613 More than 1 year ago
Wish I Could Give It No Stars. Not Even Paltrow Could Salvage This Country Debacle. It's Not As Horrendous As Pure Country (George Strait Is As Grotesque A Actor As He Is A Singer), But That Ain't Saying Much.