Coal Miner's Daughter [1980]

Sissy Spacek won a much-deserved Oscar for her lead in this entertaining biography of country-music legend Loretta Lynn. British director Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist) brings fine texture to the Kentucky backwoods section of the film, where the teenage Loretta meets her future husband (Tommy Lee Jones), who ultimately pushes her into show business. Lynn's adult life is well covered, from her spouse's philandering to her own on-stage crackups; but between the chapter-and-verse recollections, the script by Thomas Rickman is layered with life and moments of great humor. No wooden portrait, this is a vibrant film made outstanding by the colorful performances of the two leads, as well as Beverly D'Angelo and the Band's Levon Helm. --Tom Keogh

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