Who Will Mourn Gwyneth Paltrow's Status as a Leading Lady?
Gwyneth Paltrow has a habit of saying things that inspire me to take notes, fill a bulletin board with theories, and question my own feelings. Today's incendiary soundbite: a seemingly off-the-cuff remark from the Cee Lo foil regarding the roles she takes: "I have little kids, and I'm a full-time mom. I really only do small parts." Considering her role in Contagion is a short one -- she's only in the first 15 minutes -- and her newly announced ensemble role in Stuart Blumberg's upcoming sex addiction comedy Thanks for Sharing, is it possible that we should be mourning her status as a leading lady? Will you attend the memorial?
Because I will! As much as Gwyneth Paltrow polarizes movie fans, she was so memorably effective in Emma, Proof, and Shakespeare In Love (her Oscar-winning performance, of course), that I can hardly imagine watching her in mainly supporting roles -- even if her streak of minor parts only lasts a few years. I recommend Paltrow follow the lead of frequent birth-giver Nicole Kidman, who simply passed up most films for a couple years before returning in startlingly mature works like Rabbit Hole. Which reminds me: Do I have to keep pimping Rabbit Hole? Please drop everything and see it, unless you hate convincing dramas full of real-seeming adults.
On the other hand, I'd prefer Paltrow avoid the post-baby track of Julia Roberts, who seems attracted to lighter, inconsequential movies these days. Or terrible movies, really. An absence from the screen is best succeeded with roles that declare self-possession and professionalism, not high-profile banality. Here's hoping Paltrow comes to re-own her marquee greatness.