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Entries in Meryl Streep (123)

Wednesday
Jul302014

'Mom! Streep & Julie are flirting again'

I can't resist putting these images in dialogue. Are the two esteemed actresses thinking of each other in their grey flat-ironed wigs, or is this a subliminal cry for a sequel to the sapphic wonders of The Hours? As Christian so correctly observed on Twitter, Nicole is never going to let a grey hair near her scalp. But she died in The Hours so she can't be in the sequel anyway.

This twinned image was fun to discuss on Twitter but after the fact it reminded me of an earlier conversation with Anne Thompson and Kyle Buchanan about why there are so many aged lady villains in YA adaptations. My contention is that it's their ageist way of playing both sides. So many stories about young girls that pay lipservice to "girlpower" are, just like stories centered on men and boys, still scared of the power and agency of (adult) women; these prejudices are deeply ingrained.

Thursday
Jul242014

Sandra and The Kiss

We're celebrating Sandra Bullock as she hits 50. Here's Matthew Eng on her most infamous awards show moment - Editor 

I'm not sure why exactly the Critics' Choice Movie Awards need to exist, except as another obvious precursor ceremony for glorified Oscar season star-baiting with ridiculous genre-segregated acting categories (so glad we all got to rightfully recognize Evangeline Lilly in The Hobbit as a nominee for Best Actress in an Action Movie!) and a prime airtime on the CW, and whose only (only!) difference from the Teen Choice Awards is that the former hands out actual trophies, whereas the latter gives out surfboards.

That being said, I remain eternally grateful to this over-bloated awards pageant for providing us with perhaps the single greatest, or at least most-rewatchable moment of the 2009 Oscar season five years back: the Meryl-Sandra kiss...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun222014

65 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Meryl Streep's Birthday

In honor of Meryl's 65th birthday today... channel her essence and celebrate her joie de vivre. You know you want to. 

65 Smile. Like you're mischievously pleased with yourself.
64 Master the tricky combo of being warm and relatable but also superior to the mere mortals around you
63 Be a total boss at your profession
62 ... and win a prize for it.
61 (Run around like a joyful maniac when you do)


60 ... or make a plan to do so. 
59 Pick up a strange accent today
58 ...abruptly change it at lunch
57 ....and then again at dinner 
56 Sleep with someone who is good with their hands, like, I don't know a sculptor or something. I'm just spitballing here...

55 more ways to celebrate after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun192014

Callas, Streep, and "Master Class"

Tyne Daly played the role on BroadwayYou've undoubtedly heard the news by now that Meryl Streep will be playing opera diva Maria Callas in the film adaptation of the play Master Class, about Callas teaching a voice class at Juilliard. Well, telefilm adaptation I guess... so ink Streep down for the Emmy whenever that arrives since Hollywood is all about over-rewarding the winners. On stage the role has been played by Fanny Ardant, Zoe Caldwell, Faye Dunaway and Tyne Daly. Master Class is, in a way, a distant cousin to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as each involve an imperious older woman teaching students while also basically monologuing about her own glory days.

Terence McNally's play has been around since 1995 and as recently as last Winter Faye Dunaway, who played the role in a Los Angeles production, was still being interviewed about her struggle to get it on film. If Dunaway was that invested in it I'm confused about the rights issues because wouldn't she have already acquired them? 

As much as I love Streep, her dominance continues to haunt me. I'm an actressexual but I am in no way monogamous about it. (I assure you, 1000% percent that if my beloved Pfeiffer returned to the movies and got every part for a 50something woman, I'd complain, too.) And while I despair for the other supremes Streep's age who can't get around her to get their shot at golden roles (both because Hollywood always wants Streep and because Streep is more prolific now than she has been since her late twenties!), this could be truly great. Mike Nichols is Streep's best collaborator and truly gifted at guiding her. Streep has rarely been better than she was in Silkwood, Postcards from the Edge, and Angels in America. I'd list only two of her other performances as equal to that realm of pure transcendence.

Maria Callas

That said it'd be more tantalizing, at least from afar, to have a lesser lauded less ubiquitous performer and it'd definitely be fascinating to have a "has been" goddess  in the role. Consider that on Broadway one of the raves for Daly's performance said:

one of the most haunting portraits I’ve seen of life after stardom

Not that Streep doesn't have prodigious gifts of imagination but "life after stardom" is not something the three time Oscar winner has or ever will experience, despite it being a universal journey for 98% of movie actresses. 

Friday
Jun062014

Streep Honors Fonda at AFI

To your left you'll see Meryl Streep speaking about Jane Fonda at the AFI ceremony in her honor which will be broacast on television next Saturday night. (A post birthday weekend treat!)

It's funny because I strike this exact same pose of joyous reverie and 'I can't even believe this exists' prayer-eyes enthusiasm when I speak about Jane Fonda's best work! (In fact, maybe we should do Fonda once we're done with Seasons of Bette?)

Meryl Streep is one of many stars that showed up and there are already several articles floating around about the highlights but I shan't read them because I like to watch these things like a virgin and pretend it's live television and we're all experiencing it together for the first time. But it's true I cheated a little to watch this sneak peek of Meryl talking about her first onscreen appearance in Julia (1977), a debut I've written about previously.

But here's one more Streep photo with the best caption lolz.

The Tribute special will air Saturday June 14th at 9 PM ET/PT on TNT with encores on TCM.

Tuesday
May202014

Cannes Diary Day ???: "The Homesman," Or How Tommy Lee Jones Failed at Feminist Storytelling

Diana Drumm is reporting from Cannes for the The Film Experience. 

 

Based on the award-winning novel (that Paul Newman was attached to for years) by Glendon Swarthout (“The Shootist”), The Homesman is a bizarre, unwieldy Western about 31 year-old spinster Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) and questionable character Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) who are driving three insane women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) back East for treatment, or at least respite from their literally-maddening frontier lives.  

Or for a convoluted, reference-laden way to generalize it all, think of The Homesman as an inverse of the Robert Taylor-starring not-quite-classic Westward The Women (1951) meets the Glenn Close-starring made-for-TV movie Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991) with the madness and mismatches of Quills (2000, Briggs being the less couth, toned down subversive Marquis) divided by the stunning Western cinematography of Brokeback Mountain (2005, via Oscar nominee Rodrigo Prieto). Apologies, my brain is flooded with movies. 

Scale of Tommy Lee Jones orneriness, gender politics, and star cameos after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr302014

April Showers: Silkwood

The waterworks conclude with the month's last entry from abstew. And it's a doozy...

Although the most famous shower scene in the history of film may belong to Hitchcock's Psycho, no other cinematic shower has entered into pop culture, taking on a life of its own outside the film, in quite the same way as Silkwood. To take a Silkwood shower is even an entry in the urban dictionary (so you know it's legit.) But for something that has morphed into such an iconic cultural moment, it may be surprising to note that Meryl Streep only spends a little less than a minute in the film's entire two hour running time actually in the (invasive) cleansing waters. Despite its brevity, its emotional impact is palpable.

Click to read more ...