The Highly-Authentic Ghost of Townes Van Zandt

The twelfth highest-grossing film in America this past week was Country Strong. In it, Goop plays Kelly Canter, a boozed-out, decrepit country star just looking for another chance. Tim McGraw tackles the role of James Canter, the long-suffering cardigan that also happens to be her husband, manager and occasional tormentor. Leighton Meester is Chiles Stanton, a sweet young thing making the leap from pageants to the music biz. Garrett Hedlund is Beau Hutton, a dreamy rehab janitor who lives to play the honky-tonks. It's the second film from Shana Feste—not a stage name—and Tobey Maguire snagged a production credit.

I saw it recently, on the smallest, dingiest screen at [...]