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She wasn't a beauty queen, but country-music star Patsy Cline's voice was a thing of wonder: full-bodied, aching and dreamy at the same time. She came by the torchy emotions in her songs honestly, as shown in this biopic directed by Karel Reisz, rising from poor surroundings, literally forcing her talent on the Nashville establishment, all the while trying to survive an abusive marriage to a drinker. Though the script by Robert Getchell is standard Hollywood biography, the movie is more than watchable, thanks to a bone-deep performance by the always astonishing Jessica Lange and the counterpoint by Ed Harris as her loving but unreliable husband. The soundtrack features a basketful of Cline's hits, which Lange convincingly lip-synchs. --Marshall Fine
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Top Customer Reviews
Patsy's original recordings are heard throughout the movie and fans will absolutely love hearing all her hits again. Lange gives a very good performance as the spirited Patsy and was nominated for Best Actress, but for me, Ed Harris steals the show. He plays Charlie as a rough and rowdy, uncouth but lovable man and is totally charismatic. Look closely and spot a thin John Goodman in a small part.
Though the story is equal parts fact and fiction, it is very enjoyable with a fast-paced script and, most of all, Patsy's memorable songs. Highly recommended.
Singer George Hamilton IV once toured with Patsy. He tells me that Patsy was more likely to start a fight with Charlie than vice versa. Ed Harris didn't impress me much as Charlie. Ann Wedgeworth gave the best performance in the movie as Patsy's mother.
Despite it's shortcomings, "Sweet Dreams" is a movie all Patsy Cline fans should own. I intend to purchase the DVD in the near future. It's a shame that most Country stations have turned their backs on Patsy. Without Patsy we wouldn't be hearing Faith Hill, Shania Twain or the other Country divas of today. Thankfully, I work for a radio station that hasn't forgotten Patsy. We play her hits as well as her recordings of standards like "True Love","Always" and "Someday You'll Want Me To Want You". Even the posthumous duet with Jim Reeves: "Have You Ever Been Lonely" is on our playlist. Maybe Country music has forgotten her, but not all of us have.
Whether the character in the film is the real Patsy Cline or not, it is a sincere and unforgettable portrayal by Jessica Lange, and that Patsy was a romantic is something that most of her fans want to believe. Sweet Dreams is a glorious film that will have you thinking back to it and contrasting the themes to those in your life long after it is finished, much like Jessica Lange's Frances. Somehow, Lange always manages to convey true inner beauty, which is what you will find in this film. What we can learn from this film is that if we are ever lucky enough to find someone in our life who can love so fully and unconditionally, we must never take them for granted.
Jessica Lange gives a wonderful, believable performance as Patsy Cline. Ed Harris, as her hard drinking, womanizing, and ultimately abusive husband, plays his role to perfection. John Goodman has a small role in the film as Charley Dick's good ol' boy, meat head friend.
The movie shows how this poorly educated, young woman with a throaty and achingly rich voice went on to become one of the greatest crossover talents ever to come out of Nashville. Her flame burned brightly for several years, until it was extinguished when a plane in which she was a passenger crashed headlong into a mountain.
Her music runs throughout the entire film. If you are not a Patsy Cline fan when you first sit down to view this film, then you surely will be by the time you finish doing so. No one sang with more feeling than Patsy Cline, and she evidently lived her life the same way. This is a terrific movie and well worth watching!
To a certain extent, the validity of these complaints about the film are a matter of opinion. But it does seem likely that the script softened Cline's harder edges and over-emphasized the stormy nature of her marriage in order to cast her in the role of victim. What isn't opinion is the way the film treats her career: it didn't happen like that, and while the film presents her as a great star at the time of her death in truth she had released only a handful of widely distributed records by 1963--and while some of them were big hits, they weren't quite as big as you might think. Even the celebrated "Sweet Dreams" never made it to the top spot on any music chart, and it was not until well after her death that she received full recognition for her remarkable work.
So instead of truth, or even a good approximation of it, SWEET DREAMS gives us the legend, the folk tale of the rough-and-tumble girl with the big, emotional voice who came from no where, married an abusive husband, and leaped into stardom that was cut short by an untimely death. And as legend, the film works very well.
The weak point of the film is the script, which plays largely to a "domestic drama" aspect and tends to smooth out the characters in a "santized for your protection" sort of way.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Good acting and well told story of another great star that flamed out much too soon. .Published 2 months ago by peterj
Where was Loretta Lynn? She and Patsy were very good friends!Published 4 months ago by Diane Zinger
good buy, a must movie on Patsy Cline life ....Jessica Lange is perfectPublished 4 months ago by Gaetan Ayotte