Background: Miss Americana (also known as Taylor Swift: Miss Americana) is a 2020 American documentary film directed by Lana Wilson, that follows American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and her life over the course of several years of her career. It was released in select theaters on January 31, 2020. The film is titled after Swift’s 2019 protest song, “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince”.
Miss Americana has been described as an unvarnished and emotionally revealing look at Swift, during a metamorphic phase in her life, as she learns to accept her role as not only a singer-songwriter and entertainer, but as an influential woman “harnessing the full power of her voice”. The film is set in the time period spanning from Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour (2018) to the release roll-out of her seventh studio album Lover (2019), dotted with flashback clips portraying several undisclosed events of Swift’s life and career.
The film premiered at the opening night of 2020 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020, to critical acclaim centering on its intimacy and vulnerability. It also became the highest-rated Netflix-original biographical documentary by a recording artist in IMDb history. Accompanying the film’s release, “Only the Young”, a song by Swift featured in the end credits, was released as a promotional single. The film was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the five best documentaries of 2020.
Description: Miss Americana follows Swift during a transitional phase in her career, as she wraps up her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour and began creating her 2019 album Lover, while covering several years of her life through a biographical compilation of interviews, flashbacks, studio footage, home videos, cellphone videos and concert recordings. It focuses on sensitive subjects that Swift often avoided in interviews, such as her past battle with body dysmorphia and eating disorder, her mother’s cancer diagnosis, the toxic internet culture and media scrutiny she faces, her sexual assault trial, and decision to go public with her political views, including LGBTQ+ allyship.
The film is a “raw and emotionally revealing look” at Swift “during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice”. The Sundance Institute outlined: “Director Lana Wilson offers a multifaceted window into Swift, her creative process, and her singular experience of being one of the brightest lights on the world’s global stage. Showcasing Swift’s trademark vulnerability and her fierce intelligence and wit, Wilson captures moments both tender and exhilarating as the superstar embarks on the latest chapter of her already extraordinary career.