Coal Miner’s Daughter is a thoughtful, endearing film charting the life of singer Loretta Lynn from the depths of poverty in rural Kentucky to her eventual rise to the title of ‘queen of country music’. Thanks in large part to superb performances by Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, film [based on Lynn’s autobiography, with George Vescey] mostly avoids the sudsy atmosphere common to many showbiz tales.
There is seldom a slow moment in the picture, although towards the end short shrift is given to Spacek’s bout with drugs, nervous breakdown, marriage troubles and death of her best friend, Beverly D’Angelo, as country singer Patsy Cline.
Both Spacek and D’Angelo deserve a special nod for doing all of their own singing with style and accuracy.
1980: Best Actress (Sissy Spacek).
Nominations: Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Editing, Sound