Oscar History

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Entries in Falling in Love (1)


Months of Meryl: Falling in Love (1984)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

#10 —Molly Gilmore, a married woman who, against her better judgment, falls in love with a married man.

JOHN: Falling in Love is my favorite movie. Well, not exactly. I only just watched it for the first time, so I can’t exactly gauge the extent of my affection. But I’ll repeat: Falling in Love is my favorite movie. It’s hard not to fall in love (sorry) with a movie where Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro have an affair in 1983 New York City, aided by best pals Dianne Wiest and Harvey Keitel. After a chance encounter at the beautiful Manhattan bookstore Rizzoli on Christmas Eve, the two meet again months later, care of the blessed Metro North, and eventually have their desires and marriages tested. One could say it’s a Mazursky-inflected Deer Hunter reunion, minus the wit, or The Bridges of Dobbs Ferry, minus the tension. But Falling in Love is an almost lovingly clichéd brief encounter featuring two unexpectedly nuanced lead performances. It’s cinematic comfort food of the loveliest order.

Streep is Molly Gilmore, a graphic designer with a stiff doctor husband (David Clennon) and a dying father (George Martin), and nearly nothing else of a backstory to report. In our last entry I noted that Streep as Karen Silkwood is ostensibly the closest character to her own personality that she had yet played, but Falling in Love quickly bucks that distinction...

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