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items tagged with Gwyneth Paltrow

Mississippi Yearning: "The Help" and "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:16:01

Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis in The HelpTHE HELP

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s much-loved bestseller, The Help concerns the tenuous relationships between black domestic workers and their privileged white employers in early-’60s Mississippi, and it’s a fairly obvious movie, with director Tate Taylor opting for broad brushstrokes over subtlety, and the occasionally wrenching drama sitting, rather uncomfortably, alongside klutzy jokiness. Yet offhand, I can’t think of another popular entertainment whose flaws matter less than this film’s, because everything that’s lacking in the picture is more than made up for in the fearless, emotionally precise, and oftentimes devastating portrayals of Taylor’s cast. The Help is easy to complain about, but all it takes is one of the magnificent Viola Davis’ fierce, tearful stares – or a blast of Octavia Spencer’s anger, or a flash of Emma Stone’s heartbreak, or a burst of Jessica Chastain’s joy – to make your complaints feel positively moot.


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Oscars / The Grouch: Notes on the 2011 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-02-28 19:41:18

Best Actor Colin FirthBefore getting into what went wrong at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and sadly, quite a bit went wrong – let’s begin by addressing the one portion of the telecast that, for maybe the first time in Oscar history, went magically right.


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The Plague Is the Thing: “Season of the Witch” and “Country Strong”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-09 21:49:11

Nicolas Cage in Season of the WitchSEASON OF THE WITCH

For one of my New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d attempt a pretty tough one: To not accidentally (or intentionally) doze off during any 2011 movies. Mind you, this isn’t something I do at a lot of screenings – a Skyline here, a Speed Racer there. But falling asleep at the cineplex is, for me, rather like snoozing while in your office cubicle; it seems the least I can do during a stretch of daytime work is stay conscious. And as a test for my new resolve, what trickier challenge could I have asked for than the very first 2011 feature out of the gate: Season of the Witch?


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Isn’t It "Iron"-ic?: "Iron Man 2" and "Babies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-09 21:35:17

Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 2IRON MAN 2

As expected, the rocket-fueled title character flies across the screen pretty damned quickly in director Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2, but this might be the very first comic-book movie to boast dialogue that zips by even quicker. By now, summer-blockbuster crowds are so used to being wowed - or, for some of us, "wowed" - by pricey visuals and gargantuan action set pieces that the true thrill of Fevreau's and screenwriter Justin Theroux's sequel comes as both a relief and a shock; how on earth did Paramount (thankfully) agree to shell out some $200 million for what is, in essence, an updated take on a '30s screwball comedy? The climax in which our metal-plated superhero takes on more than a dozen artillery-laden robots is enjoyable enough, I guess, yet in terms of actual celluloid magic, it doesn't hold a candle to the sight of Iron Man 2's Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow arguing over whether Latin is, or is not, a dead language.
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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: “Alice in Wonderland” and “Brooklyn’s Finest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-07 22:11:07

Johnny Depp in Alice in WonderlandALICE IN WONDERLAND

Beginning with 2001's Planet of the Apes remake, Tim Burton has cast domestic partner Helena Bonham Carter in all six of his most recent feature films, and he's never made better use of her beguiling, somewhat perverse charisma than in his new take on Alice in Wonderland.
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