Several country music artists will join actor Orlando Bloom and director Cameron Crowe for Sunday’s (Sept. 18) Nashville premiere of the new film, Elizabethtown. Crowe’s wife, Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart, will also attend the event that will include brief performances by singer-songwriter Patty Griffin and the Atlanta-based band, I Nine.
Celebrities scheduled to attend the premiere at the Franklin Cinema in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tenn., include film producer Paula Wagner, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans, Craig Morgan, Michael McDonald, Michelle Branch, former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King and Clint and Lisa Hartman Black.
In Elizabethtown, Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom), once a rising star at a leading athletic shoe company, has just been fired due to the overwhelming failure of his design for a sneaker and the $972 million loss his company suffered because of the fiasco. At the same time, he receives a phone call informing him that his father has died. On a flight to Elizabethtown, Ky., to retrieve his father’s remains, he meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst), a flight attendant who changes the course of his life. In Kentucky, Baylor comes to learn more about his father’s life and his own family’s roots.
In addition to writing the script for Elizabethtown, Crowe also co-wrote one of the soundtrack’s songs with his wife. I Nine, which recently signed to J Records, recorded “Same in Any Language” for the film. The soundtrack also includes tracks by a wide variety of artists, including Griffin, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Elton John, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, Lindsey Buckingham, the Hollies and others.
As a writer and director, Crowe’s credits include 1996’s Jerry Maguire and 2000’s Almost Famous. The latter was inspired by his work in the ’70s as a teenaged rock journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. In light of Crowe’s background, it’s not surprising that music plays a major role in his films.
“The final version of Elizabethtown is filled with music, and I’m so proud of it because it blatantly says music is one of the great reasons to be alive,” Crowe said in a recent interview provided by Paramount Pictures. “And I think the movie is about what it’s [like] to truly be alive. One of the ways life presents you with exuberance — and the feeling of all kinds of potential — is when you hear music. And you hear music a lot in Elizabethtown.”
Crowe was immediately captivated by Kentucky when he traveled there to spend time with My Morning Jacket, a band from Louisville.
“There’s something about the wide open spaces and the countryside and the city and rural beauty of Kentucky — or anyplace that’s kind of four-fifths sky — that you just hear music in a different way,” he explained. “As Kirsten Dunst’s character says at one point in the movie, ’Roll down your window. Some music just sounds better with air.’ And it’s true. I felt that whole part of the country was very musical. A lot of great musicians have come out of Kentucky.”
Elizabethtown will be released nationally on Oct. 14.