Movie reviews: Tanya Tucker still shines in a film about her return to the studio

Oct 28, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 8:03 pm

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 13: (L-R) Presley Tucker, film subjects Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile, and ...

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 13: (L-R) Presley Tucker, film subjects Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile, and Grayson Tucker attend the "The Return of Tanya Tucker - Featuring Brandi Carlile" premiere during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at ZACH Theatre on March 13, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

PHOENIX — “The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile” offers exactly that.

The documentary shares flashes of Tucker’s rise from teenage superstardom thanks to her first hit “Delta Dawn” in 1972, through her eventual revival and two Grammy wins, after a nearly two decade break, following her collaboration with musicians Brandi Carilie and Shooter Jennings, who co-produced the project.

Carlile said she wanted to make music with Tucker to show “the influence that you’ve had” on country music.

Clearly a fan, Carlile declares Tucker is as important to the American people, musically, as Dolly Parton.

And musically, her voice is a smoky presence. It is still filled with strength, perseverance and American struggle we’ve grown accustomed to in country and folk music.

The movie also includes distinct flashes of Tucker’s foibles and wild times, though not in great doses.

Director Kathlyn Horan skillfully details the musical collaboration while sprinkling in details of her past.

You expect men to carouse, Tucker points out, “When a gal does it? ‘It doesn’t look that good.”

Horan seems to have applied this to the film, which is a noble and watch-worthy look at the musical treasure that Tanya Tucker still is.

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Movie reviews: Tanya Tucker still shines in a film about her return to the studio