Sunday, January 9, 2011


Gwyneth can sing. This performance with Vince Gill earned her a standing "O" at the recent Country Music Awards.

Remember that single Paltrow once recorded with Huey Lewis in 2000 from the movie DUETS? Well the woman's got an appealing voice and is mighty convincing in her latest vocal foray: COUNTRY STRONG about a country singin' superstar trying to make a comeback after crashing off a stage in Dallas propelled by drugs and alcohol. Tim McGraw once again turns in a subtle and effective performance as her worn-down manager/husband. The lovely Leighton Meester who also sings and has released an album-- is credible as a beauty queen and aspiring country singer nipping at Gwynny's heels. Their mutual love interest? The hunky and charming Garrett Hedlund. The performances are good, the plot not so much. The emotional lives of these characters are not fully explained--and the film is drawn out only to sucker punch us in the end. HUH??? What just happened and why?? Gwyneth's performance almost makes us forget, but not quite. I left with a bad taste in my mouth.

THE TOURIST on the other hand is just plain WRONG. Angelina as a woman of mystery looks like a vampire on assignment from Vogue, and Depp has begun to resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy. Pockmarked and pyjamed, he scampers all over Venice panting after Jolie until a demented denouement involving international thugs, Interpol, and plastic surgery. If Venice weren't already sinking, this would have done the trick. THE TOURIST has been nominated for 3 Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture, Actor and Actress; that should give you some idea of the standards the International Foreign Press Association applies in its deliberations.

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