Miss Americana (2020)
IMDb rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%
This documentary is a journey alongside the small-town country-pop singer turned global superstar as she writes and records her 2019 album Lover. But it’s not just about the music.
The New York Times writes that it’s also about “an apolitical star waking up to herself as a woman and a citizen”. In the movie, she makes it clear that she’s filled with regret for not mobilising her millions of fans and followers during the 2016 US presidential election, and that she’s determined not to make the same mistake again. “It’s part of a strong stretch of the movie,” writes the New York Times, “that argues that Swift’s own experience with a handsy (and consequently litigious) radio personality helped push her off the fence — a passage that culminates with the most stressful sending of an Instagram post you’re likely to see from a star.”
While the film reveals behind-the-scenes insight into Swift’s creative process and the business side of her career as well her own complexities – the loneliness of being in the spotlight; an awareness of how she comes across; and the vulnerability that comes from being a public figure – it steers clear of certain aspects of her life. This is not a tell-all, reveal-all style of celebrity documentary.
Vulture says, “There’s an air of distance to it … it invites you in, but never all the way in. There are aspects of Swift’s private life and family life that, understandably, don’t come up much.”
But, as the AV Club says, “Miss Americana is convincing, positive, and entrancing nonetheless.”