Miss Americana is worth watching if:
- You love a good documentary.
- You like knowing what makes successful people tick.
- You have the slightest interest in Taylor Swift.
Miss Americana is not worth watching if:
- You hate Taylor Swift too much to give her a chance.
- You harbor an unhealthy resentment towards celebrities or succesful people.
- You don’t want to see any of Taylor’s flaws.
- A unique and humanizing look at the life of an ultra celebrity / performer.
- Doesn’t try to force a positive impression on you.
- Acts as a good complimentary to last year’s Reputation Stadium Tour live concert film.
- Could have used even more than a 90 minute runtime.
- People who hate Taylor Swift will probably never see it.
- The omnipresence of cameras can feel overly convenient.
score: 85% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: In this revealing documentary, Taylor Swift embraces her role as a songwriter and performer — and as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.
Miss Americana is probably the best Taylor Swift documentary one could ever hope to make in 2020. Aside from doing a multi-episode series, it’s hard to imagine making a better film about the pop megastar than what’s been presented in this 90 minute Netflix production.
The film is an intelligent mix of behind-the-scenes moments, Taylor monologues, archival footage, and news clips, which combine to create a powerful view of the mindset and person that has been Taylor Swift since childhood, and who she’s starting to mature into.
If you’ve developed a negative connotation towards Taylor Swift from bits and pieces of media coverage over the years, you owe it to yourself to give Miss Americana a fair shake.
The film humanizes Taylor Swift, not in a forced way, but in the way where you realize she is flawed like everyone else. Flawed, but also possessing of a relentless work ethic and a unique core drive.
You may not love Taylor Swift after watching Miss Americana, but fortunately, that’s not it’s aim. If you think you ‘hate’ Taylor Swift, however, without much reason for it, there’s a good chance that will hate slip away, as you see her for a real human being and not some sort of calculated pop product.
Some skeptics and staunch haters may question the earnestness of some footage, as cameras are always conveniently rolling, even in Taylor’s own house. While it certainly took forethought and effort to record all these major moments over the years, you never get the sense Swift is acting or playing things up for the camera. In fact, certain moments of her on camera are likely things that viewers of the film themselves, with zero fame, would be embarrassed to have shown to the world.
Documentaries must always pick and choose what to keep in and leave out. Sometimes it’s with the goal of presenting a biased argument, sometimes it’s by simply deciding what’s interesting and makes the best movie. With Miss Americana, you never get the sense it’s trying to trick you into believing something, but still manages to weave a narrative that makes the film much more than just a compilation of clips.
Miss Americana is an impressively intimate documentary, showcasing the good, the bad, and the in-between, of everything that goes on in the mind of one of America’s greatest success stories.