Miss Americana: Film Review

I am a huge Taylor Swift fan – I have been to three of her tours (her concerts were so amazing), I know her past three albums very well and I care about what she has to say, so naturally, I had to check out Miss Americana on the day it was released on Netflix.

Directed by Lana Wilson, the film is basically a series of clips showing us a glimpse of Swift’s life. After going through her rise to fame and that infamous Kanye West incident in 2009, the film mostly focuses on her past two-three years, from the release of Reputation to making Lover, with a big focus on how her groping trial in 2017 influenced her decision to become vocal about politics.

If you are looking for a gritty, warts-and-all pop documentary, you are not going to find it in Miss Americana. It’s mostly just showing her perspective on a lot of things we already know about, although she does make one shocking revelation about an eating disorder, which had already been spoiled for me after the film’s premiere at Sundance. However, she does let her guard down and allows herself to be completely vulnerable, and considering she’s usually polished and perfect all the time, this was still deeply interesting to me.

At 89 minutes, the documentary flew by and left me wanting more. I still felt like we weren’t allowed fully into her life and we were still being kept at a distance. She had decided which bits of herself to show and kept the walls up around the other parts. I felt like I knew her better but not as well as I wanted to. I wanted more of her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, although I knew that was a long shot as they’re so private about their relationship, but the glimpse we are given is so lovely and cute. I also expected more about her mother Andrea’s cancer battle, which is only briefly touched upon. I was still surprised to see her crying on camera, looking like a mess and swearing as that’s so at odds with her public image. I appreciated her giving us access to those moments.

Miss Americana doesn’t come close to being one of the best pop documentaries – like Katy Perry: Part of Me – in terms of revelations and rawness, but it was insightful and enlightening and I found it very interesting and emotional, even though she doesn’t let us in as much as I’d hoped for. I can’t imagine people who aren’t fans to care about it, but since I am a fan, I really loved it and would happily watch it again.

Streaming on Netflix now 

Rating: 4/5

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