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Entries in Meryl Streep (123)

Friday
Mar022012

Podcast: Spread the Wealth, End the War

I couldn't let the postmortem on Oscar's 84th close without inviting my ol' podcast pals Katey, Nick and Joe to join me for one last conversation of the season. We ended up talking for over an hour. See we all share this "can't stop talking Oscar!" addiction and none of us will ever go to rehab. So you get the podcast in two parts. Part two late tonight.

Here's part one where we start goofy with Octavia Spencer's ubiquity and end all serious like (well, mostly) with Viola and Meryl. Join the conversation in the comments.

Topics include but are not limited to...

  • Octavia Spencer, Angelina Jolie
  • "Cut To Camera 3. No, Camera 4. Wait, Back to 2!"
  • Spreading the Wealth. What Did They Actually Love?
  • Billy Crystal's 9th Go-Round
  • Emma Stone vs. Anne Hathaway with a side of Jonah Hill
  • Red Carpet Reveals and Lead Actor Presentations
  • CLIPS! Commercial Breaks
  • Meryl & Viola and the Narrative vs. Performance Problem

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post.
UPDATE: PART TWO NOW AVAILABLE AS WELL.

Post Oscar Part One

Wednesday
Feb292012

Red Carpet: Oscar Fashion Votes & Snubs

It's all over but for the Oscars finding their place in the expansive homes of the winners: night stand treasure? fireplace mantle trophy? foyer bragging spot? bathroom door stopper? ‪personal office knick knack? - Just a little something to brighten the room. Or each room if you're Robert Richardson or Meryl Streep. Oh and the fashion. We haven't discussed the fashion yet.

NATHANIEL: Welcome back to the red carpet lineup, Kurt, Jose and readers. I type this with my eyes half open. It's been a long season. I actually feel like someone's train, just dragging along the ground. Though with less grace.‬

Sandy, Goop Girl, Penelope, Black Swan in Red Polka Dot, Leg

Carry me with you Penelope!

 


 

JOSE:  ‪You need to smoke/drink/inhale whatever Jean Dujardin's been on since November‬ 

KURT:  ‪My guess is it was that toddlers and tiaras concoction‬.

Nathaniel:  ‪Ohhhh Dujardin. If I could tap dance to revive my flailing career, I would

Jose:  ‪just teach Monty a few tricks, grow a 'stache and you're set! If not you can ask Super Gwynnie to help you‬. Yay super Gwynnie!‬

Kurt:  ‪Paltrow gets my Best Dressed in a walk. and did she ever walk. I'm just in love with super gwynnie. Damn those cape haters!‬

Nathaniel: Quoth Edna "NO CAPES!"

"NO CAPES"Kurt: LOL

Nathaniel: I was trying to think of a superhero name for her but all I came up with was "‪Goop Girl. Able to leap the Atlantic in a single bound.‬"

Jose:  ‪ugh I am so happy that we all agree on Gwyn for once, I always stick up for her, even when she does crazy ass stuff‬

Kurt:  And this is so the year of the bracelet.

Jose: Lynda Carter must be pissed they're stealing her decades old thunder.

Nathaniel: Big wrist-hiders. Somewhere Natalie Wood is smiling down from heaven.‬

more after the jump including best actress...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb282012

The Best Oscar Press Room Photo


Jean Dujardin (aping his already famous George Clooney photo op at the Oscar luncheon) with Movie Queen Meryl.

Monday
Feb272012

Internal Conflict & Streep's Third Oscar

My own personal history with the Oscar stretches back to the early 80s but there's so much self-mythologizing about it that I sometimes get confused about when I finally figured out What It Was. I know with certainty that the first ceremony I was aware of was in Spring 1983 because I had seen Gandhi, Tootsie and E.T. with my parents. But if I watched I remember nothing from that ceremony. My first sure Oscar ceremony memory was watching Shirley Maclaine win Best Actress for Terms of Endearment (which I hadn't seen). I remember being excited for Maclaine who I already loved but I don't remember why (probably TV airings of musicals?) and I remember being super excited by Meryl's Silkwood clip. Before I ever knew Meryl Streep as an actress -- her movies were always rated R and I wasn't allowed to see them -- I knew her as The Great Oscar Winning Actress.  I think my first Meryl movie in the theater was Out of Africa (1985) and I desperately wanted her to win her third Oscar now that we were well acquainted.

Meryl finally wins her third

When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going 'OH nooooo, oh come on. why Her? Again?' You know? But whatever.

First, I'm going to thank Don because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives you've given me. And now secondly, my other partner, 37 years ago my first play in NYC i met the great hairstylist and makeup artist Roy Helland and we worked together pretty continuously since the day we clapped eyes on each other. His first film with me was Sophie's Choice and all the way up to tonight when he won for his beautiful work on The Iron Lady thirty years later EVERY SINGLE MOVIE IN BETWEEN. And I just want to thank Roy but also I want to thank -- because I really understand I'll never be up here again -- I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. I look out here and I see my life before my eyes. My old friends. My new friends.

Really this is such a great honor but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendship and the love and the sheer joy we have shared making movies together. My friends thank you, all of you, departed and here for this, you know, inexplicably wonderful career. Thank you so much. Thank you.

I waited and waited and waited and waited and waited. I waited through backlashes, box office poison, comebacks, astounding technical biopic work (Cry in the Dark), and mysteriously moving original creations (The Hours), through thrilling musical/comedy (Postcards from the Edge), improbable rebirth as box office mega-sensation (Devil Wears Prada), less thrilling musical/comedy (Mamma Mia!). I wasn't always rooting for her but I was always rooting for her if you know what I mean.

My heart danced a bit when she spoke, just a bit since I was upset. And I laughed at her psychic opening (you know that's true!) and teared up at what sounded like a lifetime achievement speech which is what it essentially was. Meryl finally won her third.

Be careful what you wish for.

Two great actresses. Only one statue.

Though I've desperately wanted Meryl Streep to have a third Oscar -- who deserved a third more? -- it became suddenly tied up with my single biggest Oscar pet peeve (the Academy's relentless all-devouring soul-crushing belief that biopic mimicry is the highest form of acting) and tied up with the defeat of a new(ish) actress who I genuinely think is one of the greats... just without the roles to continue proving it.

Though I find roughly half of the regular charges of racism levelled at the Academy tiresome and ill thought out (it has to be about the movies that are released and the performances inside of them or it holds no water -- that's all Oscar has to choose from!) it's hard not to look at Viola's loss and bemoan Oscar's (and Hollywood's) resistance to women of color.

Here we had a great actress headlining a major blockbuster hit, giving an astoundingly deep, moving performance and singlehandedly elevating her movie into the substantive kind that gets nominated for Best Picture (we can argue all we like about how "substantive" The Help is and how much other actresses contributed but it's Viola that gave the movie its only sharp edges and its soul and made it however substantive that it is). She also managed to win a few key awards and stay in the press for months and months and months on end.

It's hard to imagine all those plusses and still coming up empty-handed on Oscar night, especially in favor of a previous winner in a movie that no one likes. It's also hard to imagine a year like Viola had not being followed by major offers for major roles but so far... crickets. And this last is more anger-making than an Oscar loss, and something we'd all hoped an Oscar win might've helped to overcome... though this is perhaps wishful thinking; Hollywood is as resistant to great black actresses as the Oscars which reflect them.

In some ways you can argue that it's just the luck of the draw. Meryl was always going to win a third. It was just a question of when. But it's hard to look at the way Meryl's third was shoved aside for a Movie Star Queen doing her best but hardly statue-worthy work just two years ago, and it's hard to look at other performers who've sailed to Oscars with ease that aren't anything like Viola Davis's caliber.

In Halle Berry's Monster's Ball Oscar-winning speech she spoke movingly of her historic moment as the first Best Actress of color.

This moment is for Dorothy Dandrige, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for the women who stand beside me Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox, and it's for every nameless faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened."

Did the door quietly swing closed again?

 

Tuesday
Feb142012

Jake Gyllenhaal Introduces The Meryl Streep Tribute At Berlinale

Awww, this is sweet. Jake Gyllenhaal met Meryl through her son Hank (aka Henry Wolfe) when he was all of 13 and Jake has been intimiated by her ever since. Jake Gyllenhaal is on the jury this year that will decide the big winners at Berlinale but he also had the honor of introducing her for the her lifetime achievement Golden Bear.

I promised to quit talking about the Best Actress race (well, until we have to talk about the actual ceremony) but wanted you to enjoy this. Her Bafta speech is after the jump if you haven't seen it yet.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb122012

Seeing Double: Best Actress

So, Meryl Streep won the BAFTA for Best Actress playing British political icon Margaret Thatcher and looked great doing so. At first all I could think was Dynasty power bitch combo pack (Collins power / Evans warmth) with those shoulder pads and the dramatic bodice.

But then it hit me...

Aunt Josephine!

Congratulations to Streep and all the BAFTA winners. I know there's been a lot of drama among The Film Experience readers and Streep fans -- the categories overlap ;) -- about who should win Best Actress . This site attracts more than its share of the drama in that regard given that we talk about the category so often even when nobody as beloved as Meryl is involved. I assume the race is neck and neck and neither outcome would surprise on Oscar night. Streep was always going to win BAFTA with the added advantage of the already awards-magnetic gift of mimicry hitting the eyes of the people who would recognize the skill of the mimicry the best and The Help being very American-skewing in its appeal (I'm actually a bit surprised it was nominated for the BAFTA). The Iron Lady was dodgy enough politically not to really get people riled up about its always controversial subject which I think hurt the film but helped the Meryl awards prospects if that makes any sense. But even though she was always going to take it (I never doubted) it still does help her stay in the Oscar conversation; Oscar ballots are due on the 21st so people are still voting.

I hope we can all agree that when the Oscar conversation involves actresses as massively gifted as Meryl and Viola we all win.

That said I still hope it's Viola just on the grounds of these two performances and because if someone has to beat Streep I'm much more comfortable with it being an actor who you know can really throw down with her. Too often Oscars go to people just because they're well liked and not because they're Oscar caliber talents. This is why so many of the greats don't have even one Oscar... and people don't like to think about the harsh realities but if Viola loses that would mean we'd have to add her to that list of Moore, Close, Bening, Weaver, Pfeiffer, et all who can't catch the gold man despite world class gifts.

Streep and Davis at the SAG Awards 3 years ago when Meryl wisely demanded that Hollywood give Viola great rolesI'll be happier for either of them since one is an all time favorite and one is a current favorite who I hope becomes an all time favorite. If only we could have a tie!

I hope we can all agree that if Viola isn't offered great roles after The Help, regardless of who wins next Sunday, we all lose.

I think that should be my last note on this particular Best Actress matter before Oscar Sunday because good lord this topic has taken up huge chunks of the internet and this blog. And to think the world spent the first half of the year obsessing over Meryl vs. Glenn!

Each year brings surprises and who would have ever predicted this neck and neck battle back when they were first watching Doubt (2008)?

 

 

Monday
Feb062012

Oscar Luncheon Photos

The Oscar luncheon was held today. So most of the nominees assembled to be a part of the big class of 2011 photo. Well done, all. Congratulations. 


I love that the naked gold man is just standing right smack in the middle of all of them, the reason for the season. 

This one goes out to @AwesomeRob --- What do you think Meryl and Rooney were saying too each other? Or maybe they weren't saying anything. Guess away in the comments.

George Clooney & Jean Dujardin get along famously after the jump.

Click to read more ...