The New Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth-Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow revealed her miscarriage. But for what purpose and to what affect?

One story caught my attention this past week in the land of celebrity gossip. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed she suffered a miscarriage during her third pregnancy. “I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out and I nearly died.” She goes on to describe the void she feels in her life because of the absence of a third child.

I was instantly struck by the frankness of Paltrow’s revelation. A miscarriage is a profoundly sad event for anyone to experience and it is a profoundly personal event for a celebrity to share. Although about 1/4 of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage, few celebrities are forthcoming about having had a miscarriage. This fact alone makes Paltrow’s revelation noteworthy; her candor will certainly help other women dealing with their own grief.

But we should immediately question why a celebrity shares revealing personal information. Celebrities might lead public lives and want us to respect their privacy but they also depend on us – the fans and consumers – to buy their products. Thus when a celebrity is promoting their latest movie, album, book, or product, privacy becomes a relative term. So why did Gwyneth Paltrow choose to discuss this personal experience that happened several years ago? The (somewhat cynical) answer is that Paltrow is currently promoting her latest cookbook, It’s All Good and she is attempting to rebrand her public image. Continue reading “The New Gwyneth Paltrow”

David Bowie and Tilda Swinton Join Forces, Bring Campy Perfection To Everyone

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Photo: Haute Talk

Well my Tuesday, which was going to be spent debating whether or not I should write something about the Academy Awards, just became infinitely better. Tumblr has alerted me that Floria Sigismondi directed the latest David Bowie music video. And that it features Tilda Swinton.

I’ll wait while you take that in for a second.

David Bowie and Tilda Swinton. Together. In a music video. (Someone is aware of something.)

“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” is the second single from Bowie’s forthcoming album The Next Day. In the video, Bowie and Swinton play a celebrity couple who live in a surreal version of suburbia. An androgynous celebrity couple moves next door and the result is campy perfection. It is exactly what a David Bowie music video directed by Floria Sigismondi featuring Tilda Swinton should be like. Enjoy.

Do I Really Hate Anne Hathaway?

Every awards season certain directors, actors, and movies are relentlessly picked apart by the media and public. Sometimes this prompts interesting think pieces but most often the big awards season stories are tiresome. (Case in point: Ben Affleck’s alleged Oscar snub.) But the constant scrutinization of Anne Hathaway has been endlessly fascinating.

While other Oscar-nominated actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain are widely adored, Hathaway can do nothing right. Not her interviews, her red carpet appearances, or her acceptance speeches. (Especially her acceptance speeches.) She has been constantly lambasted. In recent memory, no other actress who is the frontrunner to win an Oscar has been this polarizing. Let’s call this the Anne Hathaway Conundrum.

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Poor Anne Hathaway. She tries so hard.

What has Hathaway done so egregiously wrong to generate so much disdain? On the surface, nothing. She is a two-time Oscar nominee. She consistently makes decent movies although she has appeared in a few duds. (It’s okay, Anne. Everyone was in Valentine’s Day.) She had one barely memorable tabloid scandal, which is admirable given that she became a major star in the last decade. She is intelligent, well-spoken, and passionate. (Just watch her speech after receiving a Human Rights Campaign award in 2008.) She is clearly talented and she even escaped from that Oscars hosting debacle relatively unscathed. So Anne Hathaway seems to be a perfectly tolerable person and actress. Right?

Wrong.

For no apparent reason, people do not like Hathaway. Despite my ability to recognize her many good qualities, I also kind of dislike Anne Hathaway. Maybe “dislike” is the wrong word; I just don’t care for Anne Hathaway.

Since I must over-analyze everything, I need to understand what really bothers me about Anne Hathaway. Therefore I spent the last week watching and revisiting almost every movie Hathaway has appeared in, starting with The Princess Diaries up until The Dark Knight Rises. (But not Les Miserables. You cannot pay me to see Les Mis. My friend tried and it didn’t work.) Here it goes.

Lead the charge, Mia.
Lead the way, Mia.

Continue reading “Do I Really Hate Anne Hathaway?”

Happy 100th Birthday, Lucy!

I’m not funny. What I am is brave. – Lucille Ball

Today is Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday. The internet is in heath with a Lucy lovefest right now. The Loving Lucy blogathon going on over at True Classics is definitely worth checking out. I don’t have time to participate; instead here are really brief thoughts on what everyone’s favorite red head.

I was introduced to Lucille Ball at a young age the way I imagine many people discover her: through “I Love Lucy” marathons. I remember loving this show as a child and being thrilled any time it was on television, just wishing I could be more like Lucy.

What I love more than anything now is discovering early Lucille Ball performances, before she became Lucy and the icon we know her as today. Films like Stage Door. Ball is overshadowed by Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers but her character’s (I think her name is Judy) story line is so critical in an ensemble film very much about the place of women in 1930s American society. Judy gives up her acting career in favor of marriage and children.

My absolute favorite clip of Lucy of late though is this one, when she and Ginger Rogers dance the Charleston. It’s an absolute gem.

Those are just some of my favorite Lucille Ball memories. What are yours? Sound off below.

Bringing Up Baby: Meet The Supporting Cast

Last month, my friend Diana and I caught a screening of Bringing Up Baby at Film Forum. This was easily the umpteenth time I have seen Bringing Up Baby. I’m about to totally surprise you all but Bringing Up Baby is my favorite movie. (What? You never saw that coming? You must have just accidentally found this post on Google.)

Often with your favorite anything, some aspects get lumped together and are quickly forgotten. When it comes to Bringing Up Baby, I’ve never quite focused on the supporting cast, the character actors who make this screwball comedy so effective. Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are the stars but it is the actors like Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, Charles Ruggles, and Walter Catlett who add a level of comedic genius to the film that is unmatched. For the most part these actors are seasoned performers who had long careers on the stage, film and television. You probably saw them time and time again in bit parts in some of your favorite movies. They are the type of actors who seemingly appear everywhere and make the whole product come together.

Their characters slowly trickle into the film’s story, fitting around Susan and David’s completely frantic search for the leopard Baby as needed. At first these characters – the local sherrif, the rich aunt, the psychiatrist – seem to be the straightlaced foils to Susan’s peculiar brand of zaniness. But as the movie continues, everyone becomes unhinged and in the final moments. When they all wind up in the local jail for one reason or another (a perfect metaphor for the ensemble) in the most manically hilarious scene imaginable, the ensemble cast almost outshines the two major stars.

Here they are:

Continue readingBringing Up Baby: Meet The Supporting Cast”