Release Date: October 27th, 2006 (AMC Loews Village 7 and AMC Loews Lincoln Square) by The Weinstein Company.
Directed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary Dixie Chicks’ experiences after singer Natalie Maines makes an anti-Bush comment during their international tour in 2003.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Shut Up and Sing feels thoroughly entertaining regardless of whether or not you like the Dixie Chicks’ music. While backstage on tour in London, Natalie Maines said in front of a camera that she was ashamed that George W. Bush comes from Texas. That comment caused uproar from many Dixie Chicks fans once the comment traveled from the London media to the U.S. media. Not surprisingly, country radio stations discontinued their songs and many people, including Bill O’Reilly, considered them to be stupid. Co-directors Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck go behind-the-scenes to give the Dixie Chicks a chance to share what they’ve been through since Maines’ anti-Bush comment. Maines and the other two Dixie Chicks singers, Emily Robinson and Martie McGuire, do their best to keep their music careers alive simply by continuing to make music and performing in concerts—despite many protestors who assemble outside and inside as well. The Dixie Chicks also have their own kids and husbands to tend to. Fortunately, these singers come across as lively, charismatic and even funny. For example, After Toby Keith derides them by editing a photograph showing Saddam Hussein with his arm around Maines, the Dixie Chicks decide to wear a t-shirt with the initials “FUTK.”—a subtle insult which protestors retaliate by wearing a t-shirt with the initials “FUDC”. In a particularly humorous scene, Bush himself gets a chance to comment on Maines’ statement, which, of course, gives Maines a good opportunity to insult him again. With minimal concert footage, directors Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck ultimately do a great job of humanizing the Dixie Chicks by bringing out their liveliness, charisma and sense of humor.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: According to the First Amendment, everyone has the right to free speech. This film illuminates that free speech has consequences when it occurs in public. The Dixie Chicks should be judged for their music rather than for their political beliefs. Unfortunately, for all the pompous individuals who refuse to respect others’ opinions, that’s easier said than done.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Lively, fascinating and funny.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "S" Menu