Clearly the coal miner’s daughter’s cousin by both birthright and ambition, Sweet Dreams upholds the family honor quite well, with Jessica Lange’s portrayal of country singer Patsy Cline certainly equal to Sissy Spacek’s Oscar-winning recreation of Loretta Lynn.
The film slants Cline’s biography toward romance as likeable redneck Harris meets Lange at a roadside inn and their initially blissful marriage tackles the rough, upward climb to stardom, with many a shabby way- stop. Apart from the deftly interwoven singing sequences, most of Cline’s career takes place off-camera.
Instead, Dreams deals with what could have been any marriage of its time and place: an ambitious, independent wife – a bit too sassy and sharp-tongued at times – versus an essentially loving working stiff, whose macho insecurities inspire him to too much booze, a little infidelity and boorish brutality.
1985: Nomination: Best Actress (Jessica Lange)