“Country Strong” gives sad, yet accurate depiction of addiction

Country Strong gives sad, yet accurate depiction of addiction

Sarah Kearby, Layout Editor

“Country Strong” is a sad surprise.

After watching the trailer, you expect a mostly uplifting movie, but that’s not what you get. Instead, it’s a realistically depressing look at addictions.

Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) is released early from rehab to continue her singing career. In rehab she meets Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund), another talented singer/songwriter and they begin to get a little too close.

James Canter (Tim McGraw), Kelly’s manager and husband, notices that Beau cares about Kelly and can help control her addictions while she’s on tour. James invites Beau to open for Kelly, along with Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester), a country Barbie.

But on tour, things get crazy and a little drawn out. Addictions flare repeatedly, and the meaning of love and lust get hazy. Everything that can go wrong does.

Kelly mixes medication and alcohol before her first concert, misses her second concert completely, and Chiles takes over her spotlight.

Beau and Chiles become closer than ever while the Canter couple drifts apart. Just when Kelly’s career begins to turn around, the worst happens yet again, making the movie depressing.

The soundtrack was as good as I had expected. The oldies sung throughout the movie were honored and easily recognizable, and the new songs were flawless.

The combination of Chiles and Beau’s voices was magical, just like the connection they displayed on-screen. Paltrow also gave hope to her character through her angelic voice. Surprisingly, the only main character that didn’t sing was McGraw, the actor that already has a musical career.

Even though “Country Strong” was not what I expected, it was definitely worth seeing. The emotional actors and actresses were talented, and the soundtrack will delight country music fans.