Pretty much the quintessential music biopic, Michael Apted's COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER traces the rise of country music superstar Loretta Lynn from her humble roots in the Kentucky mountains to stardom. Buoyed by incredible performances by Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. Spacek's performance transcends mere mimicry, as the film makes Lynn a fully realized character rather than just a representation.
Authenticity is the name of the game, not merely in production detail, but to make the film itself feel like a real story and not an imitation of someone's life. There's no over dramatization here, just attention to character and development.
Coal Miner's Daughter is a bona-fide masterpiece. It's everything you would want in a perennially great film: an authentic uplifting real life story full of twists and endless tribulations. Tommy and Sissy are knockouts and give two the best performances of their careers. Having not known anything about Loretta Lynn, I was fascinated by this unlikely story. It will sweep you off your feet and move you to tears.
It's unusual for me to come out of a celebrity biopic not feeling bashed in the head by a fan's dream portrait. But it was hard to sympathize with any of the characters because everything was too quickly gleaned over (eg. did her husband just rape her? did Patsy just die? is she addicted to opiates? oh well, moving on). Also, how strange to have a film made about your life when you're only 48. Where's Dolly's movie?!