By now I am quite used to the twin 80s blondes trajectories of "Meryl: still preeminent; Everyone Else: struggling." Meryl Streep and Michelle Pfeiffer are a decade apart in age so they're only conjoined in my own mind as the formative blondes of my cinephilia though they aren't directly correlative. Meryl's true contemporaries are the Close / Lange / Weaver / Weist / Sarandon / Field / Keaton super-pack (all born between '46 and '49... a vintage crop.)
But let's check in with both of my blondes very briefly today.
Dan Zak, who is a very fine writer that I am acquainted with, wrote kind of a frosty profile of Pfeiffer when Chéri came out (which made note of her still robust online Pfandom -- guilty! -- though we ringleaders went unnamed) but he's made amends with this profile of Streep to coincide with her Kennedy Center Honors. It's a beauty.
There is nothing to say about her handshake, her mood, her carriage. She has no smell. Her eyes, obscured by modish rectangular glasses, seem dark and colorless — until she begins to recite a verse by 8th-century poet Wang Wei to prove a point about an artist’s individual voice.
“I seem to be alone on the empty mountain,” Streep says in her silvery contralto, shifting her posture as if bracing for a blast of high-altitude air.
Really good big piece with nice payoffs throughout, so read it.
On to Michelle. We hope that she's great in 2012's supernatural Dark Shadows (though given that it's a contemporary Burton film our expectations be low) and familial drama Welcome to People (but given that it's a directorial debut from Alex Kurtzman who has mostly written TV procedurals and action films, our expectations are none because the worth of debut efforts are impossible to guess at) but we've never expected that New Year's Eve was going to be anything other than a cash grab.
Ultra Culture has a hilariously damning quote piece on "How the cast of New Year's Eve pick their projects" in which none of the stars tell the truth. Would it kill one of them to say "for the money"? I bet they'd even get some fun extra media attention for saying so. I keep forgetting that New Year's Eve is arriving. But the photo above reminded me of this series of tweets 'tween two British based critics and myself. (Ultra Culture doesn't know who I am but MaryAnn is an old friend.)
@UltraCulture New Year's Eve, incredibly, as bad as you'd expect.
@MaryAnnJohanson No, it's even worse.
@NathanielR at least tell me La Pfeiffer emerges unscathed. Wait... don't. NERVOUS
Ah well, at least La Pfeiffer is looking predictably great on the red carpet.