2022 Nashville Film Festival: The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile Review

The 2022 Nashville Film Festival has kicked off, and over the course of the next week, I will be bringing all the coverage from all the movies I watched. The Opening Night presentation was brought to us by Sony Pictures Classic with The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile.

Decades after Tanya Tucker slipped from the spotlight, music star Brandi Carlile takes it upon herself to write an entire album for her hero based on Tanya’s extraordinary life, spurring the greatest comeback in country music history.

The 2022 Nashville Film Festival opened with a poignant, heartfelt bang with The Return of Tanya Tucker. Heading into this film, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I walked out a massive fan of the legend.

The movie doesn’t fit into the mold of other documentaries as it starts with a montage of the past but jumps right into the present day and this potential record that Brandi Carlile wants to make with her hero and icon, Tanya Tucker. From the first meeting with that larger-than-life personality, I knew we were in for a real treat over the next hour and a half.

I was impressed with director Kathyrn Horan’s ability to get this authentic and honest portrayal of Tucker. Another thing Horan did that we’ve never really seen before is she didn’t let the past dictate how we felt about the story. Horan didn’t stay stuck in the past. While highlighting the good and bad times throughout her career, she told the story through the lens of today.

Before watching this documentary, I knew Brandi Carlile, but I didn’t understand or appreciate the person. I was blown away by her love and care for Tucker because you felt the authenticity of what she was trying to do for Tucker. Whether it was the look on her face the first time she sang in front of her or the way she protected Tucker at the Loretta Lynn birthday bash, we all need someone like Carlile in our lives.

Furthermore, I think it was absolutely beautiful how Carlile wanted to take care and honor Tucker for not only who she was but for what she meant to her. If more people honored their heroes in this way, we’d have so many more pieces of history in front of us. Because of Carlile, generations to come will become fans of the legend.

Overall, The Return of Tanya Tucker is one of the year’s best documentaries. It left me in a puddle of tears several times. Incredible work from everyone involved.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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