Everyone loves a good comeback story, as witness the current buzz surrounding actor Brendan Fraser, who’s been out of the limelight for a while. Embracing an underdog can seem like a cliché but rekindling a show-business career is no easy task. Allowing a filmmaker to document that process takes more nerve than some people could muster.
Tanya Tucker has plenty of nerve. She’s seen it all, from hit records to tabloid headlines, in a career that began at the age of 11. What makes her story compelling is that her talent remains intact, a simple fact that inspired her number-one fan, Grammy-winning vocalist Brandi Carlile, to engineer a second act for Tanya’s dormant career. She lured Tucker back into a recording studio for the first time in seventeen years and chose an empathetic filmmaker, Kathlyn Horan, to chronicle their journey together.
You don’t have to be familiar with Tucker (or Carlile, for that matter) to be pulled into this story and develop rooting interest. Horan serves as a fly on the wall as Tucker takes her first tentative steps toward recapturing what came so naturally to her as a youngster.
The setup may seem simple and straightforward but the emotions feel genuine as Tucker follows Carlile’s lead and gradually begins to enjoy the warm reception she receives from fans old and new.
This is the living definition of a feel-good movie, but there is nothing rote or contrived here. The Return of Tanya Tucker–featuring Brandi Carlile will leave you smiling with satisfaction.