Lewellen (Fanning) is a self reliant girl who lives in the rural south. Lewellen tends to her Daddy (David Morse) and answers to her domineering Grammie (Piper Laurie). Sometimes Daddy brings home a girlfriend and asks Lewellen to perform her Elvis Presley impression, especially the tune "Hound dog."
It is Lewellen's public singing in the forest that captures the ear of Charles (Afemo Omilami), a black man who tends to animals. Charles educates Lewellen about the Blues culture. Despite Lewellen's protests, Charles claims that "Hound dog" was a popular Big Momma Thornton tune before Elvis recorded it. It is when Lewellen faces hardship, that she is able to comprehend the healing power of singing the blues.
Like last year's "Black Snake Moan," "Hound dog" places the female lead character in confining situation. While both films are flawed, both "Hound dog" and "Black Snake Moan" acknowledge the darkness in life and the ability to find redemption.