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Entries in Meryl Streep (258)

Thursday
Mar152018

Months of Meryl: Plenty (1985)

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

Charles Dance and Meryl Streep in "Plenty"

#11 — Susan Traherne, resistance fighter turned diplomat’s wife with a gnawing sense of unease about the life she must lead.

MATTHEW:  “I just wish she were more ordinary,” a persnickety commercial director grumbles about an offscreen model hired to play the mother in a promo for dog food. “Will the audience identify?” he frets. We’re in England in the postwar 1940s and Susan Traherne, a former agent in the French resistance, is rolling her eyes through a mind-numbing advertising job that she will promptly vacate. The scene is quick but Susan walks out just in time for the director’s comments to resonate as a sly statement on the woman herself, the reliably erratic anti-heroine played by Meryl Streep in Fred Schepisi’s tepid cinematic adaptation of David Hare’s Plenty. Will an audience identify with a figure so brazenly, even coldly unconventional? And does such identification even really matter...?

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Thursday
Mar082018

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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Tuesday
Mar062018

Red Carpet: Best Actresses Hug It Out

by Nathaniel R

Tonya, Mildred, Lady Bird, Eliza, and Katherine

Beauty! This season's five most celebrated leading actresses have 32 Oscar nominations and 5 statues between them. (Of course Meryl accounts for more than half of both totals but what can you do?). But readers hearts were elsewhere this year...

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Friday
Feb232018

Months of Meryl: Sophie's Choice (1982) 

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep...

#8 — Sophie Zawistowska, a Polish Holocaust survivor now fighting back personal demons as a Brooklyn émigré.

JOHN: Meryl Streep is as defined by Sophie’s Choice as Tiffany's is by diamonds. Her “choice” is perhaps the most notorious scene in Streep’s oeuvre, known by people who have no idea that The Deer Hunter or Silkwood or Ironweed even exist. In only our eighth entry, we have already arrived at the performance in which the legend of Streep was crystallized forever...

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Friday
Feb162018

Months of Meryl: Still of the Night (1982)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep...

#7 — Brooke Reynolds, a Waspy urbanite and unlikely femme fatale with a shady past and a killer blonde bob.

MATTHEW: No actor, not even the oft-cited Greatest Actress of All Time, is immune to the inevitable and indisputable stinker. Seven projects in and just touching the surface of true-blue movie stardom, Meryl Streep finally made her first real turkey...

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