Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gleeful Gwyneth

Last night's Glee. Do we need to discuss? Stunt casting, so flagrantly used on television and stage to yield press & ratings dividends is a completley unreliable tool for producing quality entertainment. Last night was a happy example of the times when it works. "The Substitute" reminded us how joyful Comedic Gwyneth Paltrow can be.


Somewhere after her Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, she started seeming super morose onscreen as if depressive gloopy drama was her true calling. And then she went yet GOOPier. But last night she glided through her role as "Holly Holiday", Spanish speaking catchphrase wielding Cee Lo loving totally irresponsible teacher with such relaxed shimmer, that it only reminded how radiant she was 12 years ago before she won the Oscar.

It's quite possible, if her subsequent career is any indication,  that she doesn't take her acting career too seriously but if so, why not move in that direction; funny, tossed off, 'I'm only here to have fun' treats for her starved fans? We've got plenty of actresses who can handle heavy dramatics... and some can do it with more pizzazz or more varied nuance than Paltrow. We've got too few who can get all sparkly while joking, singing and dancing. Oops, scratch the last part. Paltrow's dancing was even more clubfooted than Zeéeee's was doing the same number, Chicago's wondrous "Hot Honey Rag" finale. Well, at least Gwynnie sparkles when she sings!

Santana: What would you know about Cee Lo? You're like...40.
Gwynnie: Top 40, sweet cheeks.

Towards the end of the show there was a spot for Gwynnie's new movie Country Strong. I recently got a major thumbs down on the movie from a trusted industry source but I enjoyed hearing Gwyneth sing so much last night that I might be up for it anyway. I love the singing actresses, I do. It's just too bad that she's playing an alcoholic. No more crying Gwynnie, make it sparklier!  'It's kind of your thing.'

Here's Gwyneth singing "Country Song" at the CMA Awards last week.



You like? Maybe Best Original Song attention?

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25 comments:

Joe Reid said...

Well I do agree with you that weird/comedic/loose Gwynnie is the best Gwynnie (well, second best to comedically dour Tenenbaum Gwynnie), I'm wondering if she ever was that kind of an actress even before the Oscar. "A Perfect Murder"? "Seven"? "Great Expectations"? I guess it'd help if I'd ever seen "Emma" but I haven't, but I just don't remember her ever being the light-n-sparkly one.

NATHANIEL R said...

well, she's really good in EMMA if i recall.

she REALLY needs to do more comedy. Good comedy i mean.

Tikabelle said...

You recall correctly. I loved her in Emma, and also I loved Toni Collette. The movie itself wasn't to die for, but I seem to keep watching it for some reason...

I loved her passion for teaching in Glee - the whole "make it current" thing is actually A Thing in teaching right now, agh. And did you see her LEGS? Jeez! My eyes popped out at how awesome they are. I is jelis.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but what does 'GOOP' mean? That's the third review I've read that mentions it and I am puzzled.

I'm down for Country Strong too, as long as the focus is more on the getting shit together aspect and not the alcoholism aspect.

Carlos said...

Do you know where can I find 'Me and Tennessee' and 'Coming Home' from Country Strong? I've only heard the main song from that movie.

I hope Gwyneth makes more comedies -wherever she is not a freak like in Running with Scissors and The Royal Tenenbaums- she was so sweet in Shallow Hal.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon -GOOP is the name of Gwyneth's lifestyle newsletter that she sends out (i think weekly?)

Kurtis O said...

I'm glad you brought up her post-Oscar gloominess because that was really irking me for a while. I felt like she was so listless for so long ("Proof" -- bleh). But I'm really adoring her lately, and I do like that song, honky tonk cliches and all. I'm watching her "Glee" perf tonight online and I'm stoked.

Merseytart said...

Gwynnie's a far more interesting person in real life than she has ever been on screen. I feel like she has a great sense of humour about herself and her roles, but that she feels like she needs to pick "decent" parts every time. The Iron Man films show what fun she can be when she lets loose.

Perhaps we should blame that TERRIBLE air hostess movie for putting her off comedies?

Jose said...

Gwyn for the Oscar and Guest Actress Emmy!
I adore her and think she's a terribly underrated actress. People judge her too harshly based on her lifestyle choices and forget how talented she is but I guess that comes from being friends with Madge.
"A View From the Top" was shitty indeed but she glows in it and "Emma" is just perfect.

chris said...

nat, here's a fabulous clip for BLACK SWAN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNqqHSC8UYQ

OtherRobert said...

I liked everything about Paltrow's performance except the autotune. There is no way in hell she was so bad that they had to have T-Pain dub all her vocals. Also, I now want Santana to team up with Holly Holiday to criss-cross the murders of Rachel and Mr. Schu, such that maybe a better pop singer and a less skeevy teacher can be the leads on the show.

Anonymous said...

that mash-up at the end was one of the worst songs in the show's history.

Volvagia said...

Wait: Would Strangers on a Train even be in Ryan Murphy's wheel house of "got to parody."

Taylor said...

I loved Gwyneth last night on Glee, but I still hated the episode. Sigh. That show had so much potential too. But good for Gwyneth. She really doesn't get hired enough period. I can't remember the last thing I saw with her since Proof (not that that was worth remembering). I do agree though. The lighter she is, the better. She can get self-conscious in her dramatic roles.

Bia said...

I'm a total Gwyneth fan and am so happy to see her surge lately. She was in desperate need of a career makeover.

cal roth said...

I do agree she needs to do more comedies, but that doesn't means she was very very good in her depression roles. Sylvia is her second best performance.

cal roth said...

Or, last year, she was just perfect in Two Lovers. It's not like she is Renee Zellweger, an excellent comedienne and a mediocre dramatic actress. Paltrow can do it both, and sometimes, brilliantly.

Anonymous said...

What Country Strong got a thumbs down? I guess it and Gwyneth is out of the race completely now.. bummer since it got a good word from audience members of early screenings

Volvagia said...

That episode: What the bleep!? Sue gets power and ACTUALLY RE-HIRES Schuester? Even with Glee's notorious "inconsistency" in regards to characterisation, that steps completely out of logic. That whole plot arc of "Sick Figgins results in Sue as Principal" should have been saved for a season finale, and after the final yell of "cut": "Sorry Matt, but these are your walking papers." And, about that ending Mash-up: Yes, it was the worst song they've ever done. EVER. And about the Journey jokes: Do they seriously forget they do modern stuff all the time? ALL THE TIME.

eduardo said...

she was fantastic indeed, definitely needs more comedies to make. And plz let's begin her Emmy campaign

billybil said...

I know! I mean, I had grown so tired of Gwyn and then on GLEE she was actually funny and smart and attractive and sorta cool. I mean, who'd of thought it? I mean really. Yes, let's bring her back to be goofy and funny and sparkly and a little wicked. It works.

As for the show itself - hells bells I'm ashamed but I am so starved for singing and dancing that no matter how STUPID and ILLOGICAL and ANNOYING the stories get (when I saw Shue' wife back I almost threw up on my living room floor - I have ALWAYS hated that storeline from day 1 - and the stupid Sue stuff making her principal and firing and then rehiring and all that carp - YUCK YUCK YUCK - but hell, there was singing and dancing so I'll watch again next week. I'm so ashamed.

NATHANIEL R said...

billybil -- well hopefully there will be enough musical material back someday (given the Glee phenomenon) that junkies like you know and won't have to watch just because we need song & dance.

I mean i like Glee sometimes but other times I'm just so embarassed for it. It's like the success got to them so much taht sometimes they think their crap is chocolate cake or something. sorry to be gross but that show makes me crazy. TV writers get paid quite well. The very least they could do is remember basic character traits. It's not like these characters are extraordinarily complex. and yet, despite each of them having only about 7 to 8 things about them that the writers are supposed to remember, they regularly forget 6 or 7 of those things FOR EVERY CHARACTER.

it's maddening.

NATHANIEL R said...

but that said i thought this was a good episode because it was light and frothy and wasn't trying to be a "very special episode"... and those are ABSOLUTELY THE WORST EPISODES OF GLEE.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad she's back! Classy girl...

Peggy Sue said...

I'm glad she's back! Classy girl...