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Entries in Meryl Streep (196)

Saturday
Aug132016

Review: Meryl Streep as "Florence Foster Jenkins"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

It takes a gifted singer to sing this horribly. Every other note is wrong. No phrasing goes unmangled by shortness of breath. No lovely moment meant to soar cannot be shattered by a flat ear-piercing decibel. The central conceit of Stephen Frears new comedy Florence Foster Jenkins is that Florence, a considerably wealthy patron of the arts played by Meryl Streep, lives for music but is ghastly at it. The inside joke, given the casting, is that we all know La Streep can sing with the best of them. She followed the "is there nothing she can't do?" revelation of Ironweed's tragic showstopper "He's Me Pal" (1987, Oscar-Nominated) with transcendent country crooner feeling in Postcards From the Edge (1990, Oscar-Nominated), and just kept on singing whenever a movie gave her the opportunity all the way up through last year's Ricki and the Flash which was practically a concert film there were so many scenes of Streep at the mic, rocking out.

Florence Foster Jenkins doesn't rock out. Florence is not that kind of girl and Florence, also, is not the kind of movie...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug102016

Oceans 8. Links 16

Variety we now have seven of the names for the Oceans Eight gender flipped movie: Blanchett, Bullock, Hathaway, Bonham Carter, Kaling, and two musicians who moonlight as actors Rihanna and Awkwafina 
• NYFF the 54th annual festival has released the main slate titles - Opening Night: The 13th (Ava Duvernay); Centerpiece: 20th Century Women (Mike Mills); Closing Night: The Lost City of Z (James Gray); plus their usual array of buzzy titles from other festivals only this time there are a lot of female leads (which is a huge change) including Aquarius, Toni Erdmann, Personal Shopper, and an Isabelle Huppert double in L'Avenir and Elle.
• Pajiba debates Suicide Squad's interpretation of Harley Quinn
Variety a new lawsuit about Out of Africa's profits. That's timely! (People forget that it was a giant hit at the time)
Deadline David O. Russell pitching a TV series with Robert De Niro & Julianne Moore. What the what now?

 

• Variety FX executive on Peak TV, Netflix and when the "Peak TV" bubble will burst
• Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on the problems with serial-dramas on TV right now -- the model is shifting yet again
Pride Source Meryl Streep talks her discomfort being imitated (!), Florence Foster Jenkins, sequels, and her connections to the LGBT community 
IndieWire Greta Gerwig writing another screen version of Little Women - we get one every generation it seems
/Film a Ghostbusters sequel with the ladies seems unlikely as the film will record a theatrical loss due to that ginormous budget
Comics Alliance breaks down the Luke Cage trailer
i09 Black Manta will be the villain in Aquaman 

Off Screen
Playbill Tony Danza names his favorite stage performances. Somewhat surprising but cool list featuring Mare Winningham, Mark Rylance, Faith Prince and more...
• GQ "Stop trying to get perfect abs." Love this -  Define your personality instead.  
The Adequate Man "Steve Martin is My Body Icon" on looking like the same exact person for ages 

Today's Must Read
Todd VanDerWerff has a gorgeous personal essay up on Vox called "Hamilton isn't perfect. But it's *perfect." I couldn't write for a month after I saw it". That's a mouthful but cozy up and be moved. It's on seeing Hamilton, the power of who is telling your story, and Todd's birth parents. 

Wednesday
Aug032016

Frances McDormand: from Blood Simple (1984) to Olive Kitteridge (2014)

1984 is our year of the month for August. Here's Matthew Eng to talk about a treasured actor that made her on camera debut back then...

For the better half of her nearly four-decade film career, Meryl Streep has managed to compel generations of moviegoers to accept a self-styled character actress as not only an acting heroine for the ages but also a bona fide movie star with mass-market appeal and unimpeachable box office credentials. Like no other actress since Bette Davis, Streep has perfected a once-unfeasible practice of playing the sort of idiosyncratic women she has always drifted towards, but within the safe confines of midrange, studio-supported moviemaking that seems to satisfy audience expectations as well as her own.

Sometimes Streep’s projects—and, it must be said, Streep herself—can disappoint. For every quietly graceful gem (like her underrated Hope Springs performance) or skillfully uninhibited turn (as in the best passages of It’s Complicated), there are another two or three within Streep’s latter-day canon that could stand some sharper finesse or at least more dexterous directorial guidance. Whenever I’m let down to by Streep, I can’t help but wonder what one of her less-viable peers might do with the opportunities that are scarce for any actress born before the Kennedy administration and which Streep barely has to put up a fight for.

The Beginning: Blood Simple (1984); The Most Recent Triumph: Olive Kitteridge (2014)

For as long as I can remember, Frances McDormand has served as the purest and most intimidating embodiment of what a character actor should be. “That woman has no vanity,” my mom remarked with clear admiration after watching her in Lisa Cholodenko’s Olive Kitteridge, where McDormand delivers one of the decade’s most masterful star turns, a perfectly prickly meeting of actor and role that might have been a surefire Oscar winner had the project aimed for a bigger screen...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug032016

Queen Viola. And Other Links

Bless Viola Davis forever
A TMZ reporter asks her if Suicide Squad will net her another Oscar nod. Her face at this question! Her quote while laughing:

No. But that's okay. I'll stick with it. 

We'll take it she means acting and not critically lambasted supervillain movies. P.S. Have you heard about the hilarious petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes because of  Suicide Squad's abyssmal approval percentage (worse than Batman v Superman's score!). I guess we need a PSA on what "aggregate" means and also a PSA on how to find a good therapist in your neighborhood. In more Suicide Squad news, THR has a story about its rushed production and competing edits. Worth a read if you're curious (but just ignore that confusingly written subheader). 

Showbiz
Vulture Mark Harris on the indie boom for actresses over 60: Streep, Smith, Danner, Field, Mirren and hopefully more to come...
Times Talk Meryl Streep will be doing one on August 11th so watch the live webcast
Awards Daily Cheryl Boone Isaacs reelected as Academy president
Awards Daily TV on how a new rule may hurt shows with multiple nominees in various Emmy categories
TFE ICYMI we looked at David Harbour's best work --> He was glad to see stage work on it

Off Cinema
The Washington Post The once prolific Stephen Sondheim, who hasn't written a musical since 1999, reportedly has a new one nearing the finish line!!! 
Playbill Cheyenne Jackson lists his favorite theatergoing experiences - fun group
Social Justice For All "How very dary you Hillary" a change of heart from a former Bernie man
Esquire "A few words about progress. And grace. And American cool." Gorgeous piece on Obama's place in history and his Democratic Convention piece.

P.S.
Look at this perfect instagram from the Academy! 

 

#Oscars #movies #greatmovies #oscarweekend

A photo posted by The Academy (@theacademy) on Aug 2, 2016 at 9:00am PDT

 

Wednesday
Jul272016

Meryl Streep's "Fight Song" and Female Biopics

Meryl Streep for President in 2024! We're with her. 

In case you missed Meryl Streep's "Grit & Grace" speech at the DNC last night, please enjoy the reappearance of her tacky but adorable American Flag dress and catch up. I thought I'd share it with a little movie angle since it's all about Trailblazing Women...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun302016

Gird Your Loins. The Devil Wears Prada is 10! 

Gird your loins.

We really had meant to do The Devil Wears Prada anniversary up big but the month got away from us. Today, 10 years ago, The Devil Wears Prada opened in theaters as counterprogramming and blew up, becoming one of 2006's biggest hits and endearing La Streep to a whole new generation of fans. Sadly she didn't win her third Oscar then (it would have solved so many problems later on. Plus, more importantly, she deserved it!). Because time slipped away from us, and tales of our incompetence do not interest her, we present this classic from the old site on this special occasion.

Ten Best Miranda Priestley Line Readings

My flight has been cancelled... "

10. How incredulous and put-out she sounds without even raising her voice. The way she says "school" when referencing her kids recital which she's desperate to attend is giggle worthy, too. So childish. Translation 'How could such a thing happen to the center of the universe... me?'

There you are Emily. How many times do I have to scream your name?"

09. 'Actually my name is Andrea.' Oh shut it Hathaway. She doesn't care. She will call you what she likes and you'll come running...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun092016

From the Vaults: Meryl Streep in "A Prairie Home Companion"

Since today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Robert Altman's swan song A Prairie Home Companion (2006), a gem excavated from that year's Oscar blogging for those who were not around in 2006. Though I know I've cooled on Meryl in the years since I wrote this (2006 was a major peak for Meryl but too many performances that didn't thrill followed and were automatically exalted and Oscar nominated anyway) I consider her past decade a valley rather than a downward trend. All performers have their peaks and valleys. I'm waiting for the next transcendent performance -- Impatiently, but I promise I'm hopeful.

It didn't take Meryl Streep long. By 1987 at the very latest, just ten years into her career, we knew that she could do everything. We'd already heard the accents, seen the funny, witnessed the sexy, fallen in love, had our hearts broken and heard the magnificent singing voice. If she were less endearing and emotionally attentive as a performer her technical range would be just hateful, a thing to curse as she popped up again and again in films. But this woman has it all. She is, put simply, the most consistent versatile actor in the movies.

So what is there left for Meryl Streep to do? It turns out quite a lot...

Click to read more ...