Western Stars is a dreamy, toe-tapping, reflective film celebrating Bruce Springsteen’s album of the same name.
The majority of the film is taken up with Springsteen and his band performing the album live in a barn on his property in New Jersey. In between songs, Springsteen ruminates on life, love, the past and the future.
If you haven’t heard the album version of Western Stars don’t worry, you’ll still find yourself thoroughly enjoying the music, tapping your feet along to both the upbeat and being moved more soulful songs (well, that’s what I did).
In between the music, Springsteen and co-director Thom Zimny use both footage specially shot for the film and home movies to allow The Boss to mull over his thoughts on life and love. It includes Springsteen discussing the inspiration behind the songs on the album, but also offers insight in to his own life, in particular his relationship with Patti Sciafla with home video from the couple’s honeymoon.
The film ends with a rousing, joyful cover version of Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy which will have you singing along for days.
I found Western Stars thoroughly enjoyable. You can watch it as a concert movie, or as a musical reverie. You can just enjoy the music, or you can go deeper and think about your own reaction to Springsteen’s themes. Whichever you chose, Western Stars is well worth your time.