Posts Tagged Gwyneth Paltrow

CELEBS: Gwyneth, Scarlett stand with Planned Parenthood

Congress is trying to cut federal funding for women’s health services with Title X.

According the Department of Health and Human Services:

The Title X Family Planning program [“Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs” (Public Law 91-572)], was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. The Title X program is designed to provide access to contraceptive services, supplies and information to all who want and need them. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families.

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bits and bobs from Academy Awards

David Seidler with Colin Firth

My father always said to me I’m a late bloomer. I think I’m the oldest person to win this award.
–David Seidler, Best Original Screenplay, The King’s Speech

I have a feeling my career’s just peaked.
— Colin Firth, Best Actor, The King’s Speech

Colin Firth is not laughing. He’s British.
–presenter Kirk Douglas

the BOB is IN again:

Scarlett Johansson:

Marisa Tomei:

Who I thought looked fantastic:

Mila Kunis [Black Swan]– she looks pretty in this frilly lavender Elie Saab dress with train

Jennifer Hudson— wearing orange Atelier Versace

Hailee Steinfeld [True Grit]– in a blush-colored Marchesa gown

Reese Witherspoon— classic black and white old Hollywood glamour in Armani Prive

Gwyneth Paltrow in a metallic Calvin Klein

Jennifer Lawrence [Winter’s Bone] in red Calvin Klein

Robert Downey Jr. [with wife Susan]

Mark Wahlberg [The Fighter] [with wife Rhea Durham]

Cate Blanchett in a lovely, one-of-a-kind design by Givenchy

Helen Mirren in steely Vivienne Westwood

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some favorite films about love [not always happy] for Valentine’s Day

Though I rarely have a valentine on Valentine’s Day and am not a particular fan of the holiday, I’m hopeful to find LOVE someday. Here are some of my favorite love stories on film.

Brokeback Mountain
“I can’t quit you.” That just says it all. Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger show what unconditional love is all about.

Love & Sex
Kate [Famke Janssen] is a magazine writer given the assignment to write about love and sex: a guide for single women. She hasn’t dated since she broke up with Adam [Jon Favreau]. In writing the article she recalls past romances and Adam keeps coming back. It’s hysterical and Janssen and Favreau are great together.

Romeo & Juliet
Shakepeare’s classic story of star-crossed lovers gets the updated treatment with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When a romance goes awry, would you want to erase all memories of it and that person you loved? That is the unique concept behind writer Charlie Kaufman’s script. Under the astute direction of Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, ranks as one of my favorite films. It is a fabulous and romantic film. It’s amazing and thoughtful and the performances are brilliant all around [Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood].

The Apartment
Love Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon together here. Such a romantic classic and it won Best Picture in 1960. Fran [MacLaine] is an elevator operator in CC. “Bud” [Lemmon] Baxter’s office building. She keeps having affairs with married men. Bud falls for Fran and wants to protect her at all costs.
“That’s the way it crumbles . . . cookie-wise.”

Roman Holiday
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn together. I need not say much more. Audrey won an Oscar for her performance as a rebellious princess who sets off to explore Rome on her own. She meets an American newspaper reporter who wants a real scoop. He pretends he doesn’t know who she is to get the story but then they fall in love. Oh so romantic!

Love and Basketball
Friends since they were children, both Monica [Sanaa Lathan] and Quincy [Omar Epps] are ace basketball players. Both make very different decisions about their relationship, the sport and their academic careers. It’s a fantastic sports film and feminist love story [written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood].

Kate & Leopold
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman make time travel so appealing. Do you ever wonder if you were born at the wrong time or in the wrong place? I’ve thought about it. This is a fun and sweet film.

Pride & Prejudice
Keira Knightley stars as Lizzie Bennet in this Jane Austen classic. This is probably my favorite adaptation [excluding the miniseries with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth].

Two literary scholars are studying Victorian poets who had an affair. This brings together Maud [Gwyneth Paltrow] and Roland [Aaron Eckhart] as they attempt to uncover the mystery of the Victorian affair. Based on the wonderful novel by A.S. Byatt.

The Whole Wide World
Writer Robert Howard [Vincent D’Onofrio] created the Conan the Barbarian series. This is the true story of his love affair with a small town school teacher Novalyne Price [Renee Zellweger].

Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset
It’s imperative that you do a double feature of these Richard Linklater romantic films starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

A brokenhearted street musician [Glen Hansard] meets a keyboardist [Marketa Irglova] and for a week they make music together and fall in love. The soundtrack is spectacular too.

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Country Strong: film review

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester
Written and directed by: Shana Feste

A ripped-from-the-tabloids story, Country Strong shows the come-back attempt of talented and award-winning country singer, Kelly Cantor [Gwyneth Paltrow]. Her manager-husband [Tim McGraw] yanks her out of rehab early and insists that she get right back on tour and go back to Dallas where she collapsed, drunk and five-months pregnant. Kelly’s husband has smudged the line between love and fame. It’s quite evident he sees his wife as a cash machine. Two up-and-coming country singers open for her—Beau Hutton and Chiles Stanton. Kelly had an affair at the rehab with Beau [Garrett Hedlund], an honest, caring guy who understands her fragility and won’t take advantage of her. Hedlund’s a scene stealer. Charisma goes a long way. As Chiles Stanton, Leighton Meester truly shines as a starry eyed dreamer. Paltrow achingly and deftly reveals every self-doubt and struggle with losing herself, her career, her youth and her lifestyle. As for the music? I’m an alternative music fan but do enjoy a bit of country pop by Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. I was tapping my toes to this music. I’m not giving away the ending but I knew how it would end is all this macabre critic will reveal.

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Women’s History Month: Focus on films

Grace of My Heart
Loosely based on the tumultuous rise of singer/songwriter Carol King, Grace of My Heart is a tour-de-force and one of my favorite films ever. Written and directed by Alison Anders and starring Illeana Douglas, Grace of My Heart takes viewers through the music biz from the famed Brill Building to communes and the hip 60s and beyond as one woman strives to find her own voice in a male-dominated industry.

His Girl Friday
Hildy Johnson [Rosalind Russell] is a determined news reporter who will do anything to succeed. She constantly challenges editor Walter Burns [Cary Grant]. Plenty of chemistry and striving for the scoop makes this a funny, memorable film.

All About Eve
Broadway star Margo Channing [Bette Davis] has been i a powerhouse on stage and behind the scenes for years until a younger actress [Anne Baxter] threatens to steal her spotlight.

Love and Basketball
Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, this film serves as a potent testimonial to female athletes and Title IX. Sanaa Lathan is outstanding in this film that chronicles a determined young woman, Monica Wright, who ends up on a WNBA team. Her long-time friend and sometimes boyfriend Quincy McCall [Omar Epps] follows an easier path to the NBA.

Searching for Debra Winger
Rosanna Arquette’s fascinating and important documentary asks: “What happens to actresses once they hit 30?” She has candid interviews and discussions with extremely talented actresses about the challenges of being a woman in Hollywood. Some of the actresses include: Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Fonda, Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Lane, Samantha Mathis, Julia Ormond, Salma Hayek, Martha Plimpton and Alfre Woodard.

Kill Bill Vol. 1
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, this is a kick-ass revenge film, with trademark witty QT dialogue, starring Uma Thurman as The Bride. Vivica A. Fox and Lucy Liu also bring the female-power and punch to this one-of-a-kind film about highly trained assassins.

Written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, this is a charming and heart-warming film about an independent, spirited small-town woman [Keri Russell] determined to leave her abusive husband and make it big on her own.

Enchanted April
In this lush and charming film, four rather disparate and lonely [for vastly different reasons] British women rent a villa in the Italian Riviera. The atmosphere instantly broadens their minds and lives.

From beloved author Jane Austen, Gwyneth Paltrow is winning and divine as Emma, a woman who tries to make everyone else around her happy while remaining oblivious to her own need and satisfaction.

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film review: Iron Man

Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard

Looks can only get you so far. Looks and brains can get you a little farther. For Tony Stark [Robert Downey Jr.], this MIT scientist seems to have it all at his fingertips. His company makes the most advanced weaponry, but after an incident in Afghanistan, Stark re-thinks his role in the arms business. War Lord no longer suits him. Seeing destruction first hand can do that to people. Iron Man raked in $100 million in its opening weekend and should be THE summer popcorn flick. It certainly as all the elements: cool James Bond gadgets and cars, a rich and smart hero, who as far as I can tell from this film doesn’t have a huge sob story or some weird thing in his past to overcome. Downey Jr. manages to combine earnest with arrogance. Only he can get away with these rapid fire remarks, the zingers, the kookiness. He’s such a talented actor that he can go from role to role effortlessly. His catalogue of films is rather impressive to say the least and he rarely disappoints me.

As redhead Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow [Proof, Sylvia] brings smart and sassy to the updated Gal Friday role. She and Downey Jr. simmer together. Their palpable chemistry fuels many razor sharp interactions. Pepper and Stark care for each other and look out for one other and best of all respect each other. Nearly unrecognizable is Jeff Bridge as the bad guy [no reminders of The Dude here]. Terrence Howard [Crash] plays the military liaison and close friend to Stark. He’s level-headed yet still in awe by some of what his friend manages to do.

I really like Iron Man. The end result is a bit Transformers-ish but very cool never-the-less. I laughed out loud at much of the dialogue. It’s smart. Not clichéd like many films in the theatres right now. I enjoyed Tobey Maguire as Spiderman and a brooding, dark Christian Bale as Batman. But I knew nothing about this comic hero and think he’s fantastic. There’s a realness here. Sure he’s filthy rich and a playboy but he seems like the type of guy you could hang out with and not feel like there’s this underlying dark aspect to his personality that you have to address.

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