HE aside: Did you know that if you don’t eat much (i.e., “not eating” but actually nibbling with discipline) you’re in the grip of an eating disorder? I didn’t know that. I fall off the cockatoo wagon all the time, but I get right back on it. Not eating much is freedom, power, liberation. At the same time, eating Hostess cupcakes at 12:30 am in a 7-11 is arguably just as thrilling as watching a new Taylor Swift doc.
From David Ehrlich‘s review of Lana Wilson‘s Miss Americana (“Taylor Swift Reclaims Her Narrative in Thrilling Netflix Doc”):
“Private without being invasive, Miss Americana (Netflix, 1.31) follows Swift almost everywhere she goes. Wilson walks Swift backstage, waits for her in her armored black Suburban, and sits across from her on the superstar’s private jet. Fans will lose their minds over the studio footage of Swift fumbling through rough drafts of their favorite songs.
“But certain things are off limits: actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn never shows his face to the camera, despite Swift giving a long soliloquy about her soul-completing need to call someone at the end of the night. And her mother’s breast cancer — which Swift explicitly sings about in the heartbreaking ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ — is only mentioned in passing.
“Sometimes those redacted areas leave too much blank space for Wilson to paper over, but at other times they help narrow the movie down to the raw (and all too relatable) story of a girl who’s on the brink of 30 and still trying to find a sustainable measure of serenity.
“At one point Swift asks the camera, ‘Do you really care if the internet doesn’t like you today if your mom is sick from chemo?’ And in lesser hands, that moment would have settled as a rhetorical question from a beautiful and ridiculously powerful multi-millionaire who’s learning to delineate between the things she can control and the things she can’t.
“In the broader context of Wilson’s film however, that question doesn’t seem rhetorical at all. The answer is yes. You do always care. Selling out Madison Square Garden doesn’t stop you from feeling alone. (HE aside: poor baby.) “Singing like you have nothing to lose doesn’t protect you from an eating disorder. The threat of losing your closest friend doesn’t inure you from the kindness of strangers.
“The power of Miss Americana is in watching someone who stands astride the world gradually realize that her art is the only thing that she can control. If she can only hear the boos, it doesn’t matter how loudly the rest of the world is clapping, and so she might as well do what makes her feel good.
Breathtaking Ehrlich: “Woke Swift, who rises like a phoenix from the ashes of the singer’s sexual assault trial, is an astonishing thing to see.”