It’s Taylor Swift’s world, we’re just living in it. This weekend, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is poised for a superhero-worthy box-office performance that will put all other concert movies to shame. Swift is at the peak of her popularity and is one of the few artists who could pull this off in the modern era. But even Swift had to start from scratch, as seen in Netflix‘s 2020 documentary, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana.
Miss Americana was very popular at the time of its release, in part because it offered fans a glimpse at Swift’s real persona in a way that they had never seen her before. Prior to that, Swift had withheld many of the details about her personal life and simply focused on her music and performances. In retrospect, Miss Americana may have helped Swift reach even greater heights simply by letting people into her personal orbit through watching the film. So whether you’re a new Swiftie or a veteran fan who wants to revisit this film, here are three reasons why you should watch Taylor Swift: Miss Americana.
Unlike Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, Miss Americana is not a concert movie. However, a documentary about Swift would never be complete without her music. Swift narrates her own story as we see footage of her as a child and a teenager chasing her dream. Swift is never more vibrant than when she takes the stage and performs in front of an audience. Looking back at these classic clips of Swift’s performances, it’s also clear just how much she’s grown as an artist. Her stage presence is particularly impressive.
This film also serves as a reminder that Swift wasn’t always on top of the music industry, and she had to fight her way there. Swift didn’t set out to be the megastar that she is, but she achieved that status by never coasting on her talent.
Musicians, actors, and people in the public eye tend to always put their best self in front of the cameras and pretend that they aren’t held back by their own insecurities and flaws. Even Swift has done that, but the key difference is that Swift is self-aware and ready to talk about it in this film. She opens up on camera about being insecure with her own body and how it is portrayed in the media, which led to her battles with an eating disorder.
The film also shows Swift fighting in court to prove that she was sexually assaulted by a radio DJ, and her feeling of relief and vindication when the verdict comes down in her favor. There are also very moving moments as Swift deals with her mother’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. This film simply allows Swift to be human and lets her stop putting on a front for the cameras. She’s just as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us, and she no longer has to pretend otherwise.
For most of her career, Swift appeared to actively avoid being political. Miss Americana chronicles the reason why that changed during a tense backstage discussion between Swift and her family and advisors. While Swift’s father argues against alienating any potential members of her audience, Swift pushes back and states that she wished she had spoken out against Donald Trump when he ran for president in 2016.
Swift also felt that she had to come out against Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican whom Swift describes as anti-LGBT and against voting for equal pay rights and stalking protections for women. Swift simply had enough before deciding that she would finally use her celebrity and standing to speak out on the issues that she believes in. For some artists in the past, actions like this harmed their careers. Yet Swift is more popular now than ever, and no one can ever accuse her again of not standing up for what she believes is right.
Watch Taylor Swift: Miss Americana on Netflix.
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