Americas

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Mitt's new brief is to connect with the public

Orla Healy

Published 22/12/2013|02:30

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America is (finally) warming to Mitt Romney -- not least because a new documentary shows the Preppie 2012 presidential candidate having a Mr Bean moment as he attempts (successfully) to steam-iron his shirt while wearing it.

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US DIARY ORLA HEALY

In what must be a bitter irony for all those who worked on Romney's campaign, a brief two-minute trailer released last week for the film Mitt looks like it is connecting with people in a far more compelling way than the two-time presidential hopeful ever did during his quest for the Oval Office.

While filmmaker Greg Whiteley, who followed the former Massachusetts governor from his 2008 bid for the GOP right through to his concession to President Obama in 2012, doesn't detonate any bombs about the inner workings of Team Romney, he does manage to turn conceptions upside down by producing a fly-on-the-wall movie critics are hailing as a touching, emotionally raw and appealing portrait of the man the US electorate wrote off as an awkward, over-polished elitist.

The trailer opens at the end of this story as an exhausted, war-torn Romney is seen reeling from the shock of his loss on election night. In the clip, the vast Romney clan is packed into a hotel room and the gloom is palpable as one of his sons says: "I can't believe you're going to lose."

"What do you think you say in a concession speech?" Romney asks the silent room while fiddling with his iPhone.

He then slices the tension by admitting it never dawned on him to get Obama's telephone number so he could put in the obligatory concession call.

Apart from the captivating shirt-ironing shot, already a viral hit, audiences are also treated to unexpected visuals of Romney snuggling under a blanket on the floor of his campaign plane, playing around on his iPhone and, maybe cutest of all, mouthing off. When a newscaster disparagingly announces that 43 per cent of Americans are not even sure who Mitt Romney is, the candidate dryly tells the TV screen: "The flipping Mormon."

As one impressed commentator noted: "If Romney had released a video like this, perhaps things would've turned out differently."

The film, which could give the GOP some much needed street-cred, will stream on Netflix on January 24 following its premiere at Sundance.

KIM SHOWS HOW TO BE A MODEL EX

KIM Basinger, who celebrated her 60th birthday on December 8, marked the milestone in unique style by inking a new modelling contract with IMG Models last Wednesday.

The Oscar-winning actress, who walked the red carpet alongside Robert de Niro and Sylvester Stallone for the NY premiere of her latest movie (a sports comedy called Grudge Match) last Monday, will now be working with the same agency as her 17-year-old daughter Ireland Baldwin.

Basinger, who has kept a low profile in the years since her volatile 2002 divorce from Alec Baldwin, is even getting support from her notoriously prickly ex who in a recent interview described her as "one of the most beautiful women that [has] ever lived", conceding "even divorce doesn't muddy my view of that".

MARTHA STEWS OVER GOOP

MARTHA Stewart is less than happy about all the Hollywood starlets chasing her crown as America's domestic goddess. But budding lifestyle arbiters including Gossip Girl Blake Lively and big-screen siren Cameron Diaz are getting off easy compared with Gwyneth Paltrow, whose online success with Goop is obviously grating on Martha.

Asked by a TMZ cameraman if she is concerned that Gwyneth might swipe her reputation as America's go-to lifestyle coach, Stewart harrumphed: "Oh, for heaven's sake. You have to live to be a coach."

Finally some criticism that the Oscar-winning actress -- who divides her time between homes in London and LA with husband Chris Martin and their kids -- can genuinely laugh off.

Irish Independent

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