Starring in a Minghella film would ruin you. How could Gwyneth have gone back to minimalist black (or the odder English looks she's adopted in recent years) after months in Mediterranean Grace Kelly glory? How did Nicole pick up a hair straightener after seeing herself in the midst of a Civil War that appeared to spawn from Ralph Lauren's dreams? Perhaps they're better at separating fantasy and reality than I. For I'd take Anthony's world any day. The great Ripley, English Patient and Cold Mountain director died yesterday from complications of throat cancer surgery, just five days before the Easter Sunday debut of his most recent project - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
Turn away from the screen! Or close your eyes and take in the sweet, ernest, aching meloncholy of Charlie Louvin singing an homage to his brother, the wonderful mandolin-playing tenor, Ira who died in a car crash in '65. These brothers, born the Loudermilks, came to fame on the Alabama radio in the '40s and later on the Grand Ole Opry. Religious minded boys, they sang of god and their mother, but like so many of the other gospel bands of the day, cheatin', beatin' and murderin' made their way in, too. Gram Parsons covered them on the semial "Cosmic American Music" masterpiece, Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the Everly Brothers picked up their whole close harmonizing style. I'd love to compare them to anyone today, but no one's this good. Charlie issued a CD of the brothers' songs last year and it included this new one, my favorite tune of '07.