Wynonna Judd: Between Hell and Hallelujah

Where I Watched it: Paramount Plus

English Audio Description??: Yes

This could have been an even darker film had Wynonna chosen to spend the duration talking about her mother. However, this is less about the tragic way Naomi Judd left us so suddenly, and more about how Wynonna put herself together, with the help of country music, to go ahead with the promised tour that was supposed to be her and Naomi.

I’ve always known who The judds were, but never could claim being a massive fan. But the pacing of this film, and the care it takes in telling the right story, balancing it against the tabloid attention grabbing headlines, and grounding itself in the meaning of family was so refreshing that I became a fan. Seeing Wynonna talk so openly about her life, so many of her fears, and even a little about what it was like to lose her mother, really put her into perspective.

Normally, I don’t like biopics or comprehensive works about a famous persons life that either has their involvement, or is made while they are still alive. There’s a tendency to paint them in the best light possible.This really isn’t that film. This isn’t Wynonna sitting down with a photo album and talking about her entire life. This is about completing a tour she promised her fans, while sharing bits and pieces along the way.

Where the audio description lacks is that because Wynonna opened up her tour to her country music family, it was hard to follow which other country artists were talking and when. They really had a tough time, especially at the beginning before we slowly start to hear some of them referenced by Wynonna in passing commentary. But still, figuring out who was speaking is the biggest challenge.

If you are already a fan, this will endear you more. It’s a glimpse behind the curtain, but also features quite a bit of music. It’s not quite a concert film, but more like “the making of a concert”. And, despite the audio description struggling with identification (which most audio description seems to do with documentary titles), it’s a lot more Hallelujah than Hell.

Final Grade: A-

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