I've never cared about the Dixie Chicks, and after seeing Shut Up and Sing, I still don't. Sure, what their fans and the country music scene (is it a "scene?") did to them sucked. I definitely think they got a raw deal by a demographic full of idiots who wouldn't know patriotism if it burned a cross on their lawns. But I don't know, there was something cloying about the movie, something sort of nauseating in the Chicks' giddy outrage. Ultimately, beyond the typical free-speech flag waving, I never got the sense that the Chicks were anything but crusaders for their own interest. (Ultimate conflict: superstars' lifestyle is put in jeopardy by stupid Middle America! What ever will the poor millionaires do?!)
Everyone needs an angle, so I don't exactly blame the band for getting caught up in the scandal like they did. Likewise, I don't exactly blame directors Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck for assembling the competent movie that they made. If there had to be a movie on the incident, it had to be Shut Up and Sing (minus the skull-numbingly dull family sequences). I'm just not sure that Natalie Maines' Bush comment and the backlash provided enough material for a compelling 20/20 segment, let alone a feature-length documentary.
The only lasting impression the movie left me comes in the form of "Not Ready To Make Nice," which now loops in my head in 20-minute intervals about five or seven thousand times a day. So, thanks for that, Shut Up and Sing, you bastard of a movie! Anyway, I've assembled a recap of the film after the jump. It's one of those I-watch-it-so-you-don't-have-to deals, y'all.
First: the statement.
Flash forward to a huge fall-out, including a disowning by country radio, its listeners and the Chicks' sponsors.
Then, a bit of back-pedaling:
Then, a new phrase enters the lexicon:
Then, catharsis via their art:
Then, Rick Rubin's dog:
Then, family shit:
Tough times persist:
A public feud breaks out:
Then, a death threat:
Then, a plan is hatched:
The Dixie Chicks finally return to the UK's Shepherd's Bush Empire, the scene of their crime against patriotism that's the cause of this film in the first place.
And they all lived self-righteously ever after.