Gwyneth Paltrow won me over when I saw “Country Strong.” I am really looking forward to hearing her belt out a song at the 2011 Academy Awards on Sunday. It will be her third musical performance at an award show this season, and I say bring ’em on!
I must confess; the Goop-goddess was not always my favorite actress. I was rather turned off to hear that Gwyneth got her first part on Steven Speilberg’s “Hook” because her dad was a close friend of the iconic director. (Actually, according to Tribute, it was when her parents introduced him to Paltrow at a premiere.) But hey, it’s show business– and that is how it is done.
As Jordan Orlando pointed out on Salon, “Unlike other second-generation Hollywood talent, Paltrow parades herself as intrinsically worth all of it without acknowledging her background at all. I think this is the main reason she’s disliked.”
Yeah, that’s a bit too harsh, but you get the point. Putting aside petty concerns over nepotism, a reality that plagues show business (and many other businesses) as a whole, I have to hand it to Gwyneth– she really nailed it with her singing and acting in “Country Strong.”
While “Country Strong” did not get stellar reviews from critics, I personally loved the movie. Although most of us are not strung-out country music superstars, who can’t relate to being unable to give up something or cease a self-destructive habit? The realization that your dream is so close at hand, yet you sabotage yourself? There’s something beautiful about the reality of trying in the face of past failures.
Whatever your situation, you’ll likely be able to find a common ground and instant empathy with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character. The character, Kelly Canter, is actually quite unlikable if you really think about it, and yet viewers find themselves on her side. Paltrow brought a universal fragility that somehow bordered on strength to the character of Kelly.
Gwyneth’s strong singing voice also lends strength and believability to the movie and the character’s reality. With her acting and performing talents coupled with her musical training, the result is a winning performance.
She stole the show and received a standing ovation for her musical performance at the 2010 CMA Awards in November, as Just Jared reported; her performance at that ceremony also featured Vince Gill playing guitar and singing harmony. She then performed with Cee Lo Green on “Forget You” at the Grammy Awards in early February.
Now, she is poised to perform at the 2011 83rd Annual Academy Awards. She’ll be performing the Original Song-nominated “Coming Home” from the “Country Strong” soundtrack during the ceremony. I, for one, can’t wait for Gwyneth to rock the house country-style!
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