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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Meryl Streep (163)


Curio: A Mug for Every Mood

Alexa here.  After more than a year on the wagon, I am back on the sauce with a vengeance. To clarify, I am talking about coffee.  In an effort to channel my more zen-like, less anxiety-ridden self, I cut it out. (I also hated feeling a slave to the Starbucks down the road.) But my chill, non-caffeinated self has become too sleepy of late; so I cleaned out our grind and brew, stocked up on some David Lynch Signature Blend, and decided to splurge on some new mugs. Here are some movie-centric ones I've considered buying during my trip back to the dark side...

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Happy Merylmas !

Last year we celebrated Meryl Streep's birthday with a list of 65 appropriate ways to celebrate... and all of those still apply, so click over there and do them today. To add a 66th item for her 2015 birthday, rewatch the trailers to Ricki & The Flash and Suffragette or just daydream about Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) in which she plays a terrible opera singer

Happy Merylmas. If you're not following our instructions, how are you celebrating? 


Who do you link you are?

The Playlist Stop the presses! Nicole Kidman is working with Jane Campion again, probably on her adaptation of The Flame Throwers
Variety interviews Jurassic World's mini-star Ty Simpkins who has quite a resume for a 13 year-old
Kenneth in the (212) Fred MacMurray was once quite a hunk. How did this escape me? 
MNPP Finn Wittrock joins the cast of AHS: Hotel. So after years of supplying only major diva thrills (not complaining), Ryan Murphy is finally supplying massive hunkiness... all of the dark haired pale skin variety: Cheyenne, Finn, Bomer

MNPP reminds us that Starz is greenlighting potentially great stuff to series: Evil Dead and Neil Gaiman's American Gods (have you read that book? So good.)
THR interview with editor on Inside Out
Birth. Movies. Death. on the strangely cruel deaths of Jurassic World 
Playbill composer Andrew Lippa (I saw his oratorio "I Am Harvey Milk" last fall and it was magnificent) is writing a song for Kristin Chenoweth's Maleficent  for that Disney series Descendants
LA Times looks at the Emmy races for Best Comedy - can Modern Family finally be dethroned?
Empire In news that won't surprise anyone anywhere Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are joining forces for a heroic Oscarbait biopic Captain Sully

Lots o' Fun
Den of Geek "Cats are not Capable of Understanding Rambo: First Blood Part II"
Jezebel "Damn, Meryl Streep is Great at Turning Off the Lights"
Pajiba Annie Golden, mute Norma on Orange is the New Black, used to be a 70s punk rocker

Hero of the Month!
I have to bow down to my friend Tim Brayton (of Tim's Toons right here) whose site Antagony & Ecstasy has always been one of the very best strictly-movie-reviews sites around. As previously noted Tim, who is a cancer survivor, held a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society -- anyone who donated to them via his fundraiser got a review of their choice -- and he raised nearly $5,000 this year! He's not done with all the reviews yet so I don't know what some TFE readers who donated chose but I can see your names in the list. My requested review was this one for Love With the Proper Stranger (1963) starring Natalie Wood. But he reviews whatever is requested so there's lots of variety: The Iron Giant, Evita, Ball of Fire, Meet the Feebles, Grosse Pointe Blank, you name it.

Bitch I'm Madonna
Here is the Queen's newest video with a slew of guest stars*, yes, but the most exciting thing is unquestionably Madonna herself, still flipping off the the ageist and haters -- "we go hard or we go home" and Madonna aint ever goin home, duh! -- with that ombre trashy pink hair, making out with random partygoers, throwing a drink down Jon Kortajarena's throat (as one does), dancing with naked Asian girls. My favorite part is that awesome collapse at the tail end of the video twice over as the party continues to rage on all around and above her. That final long shot when the hotel's candy colored lights go from garish to dreamy with a single cut is also a keeper. Nice work Jonas Akerlund.

*Beyonce looks like she doesn't want to do it -- so they shoulda cut her -- but everyone else gets into it. My least favorite part is the extended Nicki Minaj rap... if only because Nicki isn't actually there. If you're going do a "featuring" role, commit, damnit! Still, I heart "The Snap"'s take on How Madonna convinced these stars to do it.


Q&A: May/December Romance? Actressy Titles? Streep Sans Sophie

This week's Ask Nathaniel session didn't get as many questions as usual -- you were intimidated by the request for donations surely which sucks because life ain't free and we work hard here -- but here are 9 questions anyway because I'm such a giver. Let's start with a trip back to 1995 and move on to smackdowns, actressexual directors, Nicole Kidman in Paddington, and Hollywood's love of pairing older men with younger woman... 

Golden Globe Comedy Wins Don't Always Lead to Oscar Noms

COCO: I'm in a very 1995 mood. Were you obsessing and predicting twenty years ago?

NATHANIEL: LOL. Yes, I was.  I've been obsessed since I first discovered the Oscars 82/83 (my family was mystified since none of them had interest) and started making list of "dream nominations" each year when I was a kid even though I didn't see most of the actual nominees since they were rated "R" (VERBOTEN!) so I was madly scribbling things like  "Best Actress: Daryl Hannah for Splash !!!" and such early on. But honestly I can't remember when I started "predicting" in the classic sense but it was definitely before The Film Experience.

We'll be discussing 1995 at length in the July Smackdown so I'll save most of my comments for then but my biggest nail-biter and raucous-cheering and breath-holding was for Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas (who was my personal choice for the Oscar that year) since there were basically seven women with what seemed like actual traction for five spots. The oddwomen out were, of course, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Georgia) and Golden Globe Actress in a Musical or Comedy winner Nicole Kidman (To Die For).  Nothing against Leigh and Kidman but I knew there was only room for 1 of them since Sarandon, Stone, Streep, Thompson were locked up for various reasons some valid some not. That year's Best Actress race was so overstuffed and incredible which is why it comes up so often in Oscar circles as a point of discussion. 

On some posters (not this one) the tag line is "Raises screen acting to a new level of sexual knowingness" (!!!)PEDINHRO: What are your favorite movies with a female name in the title? My all time favorite is The Marriage of Maria Braun!

Well, you took the best one! Wait do you mean Best Title or Best Movie that just happens to have a female name in the title? If you mean best movie obviously I have to have things like Carrie and Annie Hall. But if you mean "Best Title" that's more fun so let's make it a whole top ten after the jump...

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Podcast: Smackdown Companion 1979

You've read the new Supporting Actress Smackdown. Now hear its companion podcast. Our panel widens its view from the supporting nominees to talk about the unique cinematic landscape of the late 1970s, the women's lib movement and concurrent movie gender wars, and which movies give the best period punch and which we've misremembered completely.

Host: Nathaniel R
Special Guests:  KM Soehnlein,  Kristen SalesBill Chambers, and StinkyLulu.


  • 00:01 Introductions and memory vs. reality w/ Breaking Away
  • 03:20 Gender Wars of 1979. Misogynistic or merely non-coddling and complicated? 
  • 09:00 Cynicism and Optimism in Starting Over and Manhattan, which is particularly self-critical and discomforting
  • 15:50 Contextualizing the movies. 1979 versus what was to come with shifting tastes. Do people still make movies about "how we live now?"
  • 21:00 Meryl Streep's command of subtext and Kramer vs. Kramer as a film 
  • 28:00 The oddity of Starting Over's comedy - we recommend
  • 31:30 Movies we wish we had had to watch for the Smackdown: Alien & All That Jazz and non-nominated supporting actresses
  • 36:45 Final random observations: valium, money in 1979, and new actors who weren't yet famous
  • 39:00 Meryl Streep then vs Meryl Streep now. Of course we spend the last five minutes on Meryl Streep.

And because we joke about it - Here is Candice Bergen's off-key hit single "Better Than Ever" from Starting Over.

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes tomorrow. THE NEXT SMACKDOWN IS AT THE END OF JUNE. WE'LL BE LOOKING AT 1948 SO ADJUST YOUR QUEUES ACCORDINGLY.

Smackdown Companion 1979


Smackdown 1979: Barbara, Candice, Jane, Mariel ...and Meryl Streep!

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '79. Three divorcées trying to find themselves or build new lives (a white hot character type / movie theme in the late 70s) battled for the statue with a simple suburban mom and a precocious student at the 52nd Annual Academy Awards.



Candice Bergen and Mariel Hemingway were first-time Oscar players in 1979, but they shared the interesting distinction of being previous Globe nominees in the long since cancelled category of "Promising Newcomer/Acting Debut" in 1966 (The Sand Pebbles) and 1976 (Lipstick) respectively. Barbara Barrie , the eldest nominee, was no stranger to good reviews having previously won Cannes Best Actress (for the little seen interracial romance One Potato Two Potato in 1964) but was largely considered a TV actress. She returned to the small screen immediately after her most beloved film role  -- in a TV series based on that film no less making her the rare performer (the only one?) to have received both an Emmy nomination and Oscar nomination for the same exact role! But the Kramer vs Kramer ladies were the marquee draws in 1979 and not just because the public response to their divorce drama was so seismic: Jane Alexander and Meryl Streep had been nominated before and would be again. Especially La Streep. No one could have then predicted that she'd continually obliterate Oscar records over the next thirty plus years but everyone knew she was the Next Big Thing. 1979 was the year of her true ascendance, a third consecutive year co-starring in a Best Picture contender (Julia, The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs Kramer) and the small matter of two other much-raved about performances in the same year (Manhattan and The Seduction of Joe Tynan). 


Here to talk about these five turns are author KM Soehnlein ("The World of Normal Boys") and film bloggers Kristen Sales (Sales on Film), Bill Chambers (Film Freak Central), Brian Herrera (StinkyLulu), and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience). There's also a must-listen Podcast companion conversation to the Smackdown where we flesh out some of these thoughts and expound on the movies themselves.

Without further ado, the Smackdown...

An in-depth discussion after the jump... 

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YNMS: Suffragette 

Every day since Cannes wrapped it's become clear that the Oscar charts must be updated. We were already banking on Focus Feature's Suffragette for a Best Picture nomination but when we update we might get even more bullish after this new trailer and that prime October real estate (October has been very kind to Best Pictures of late - December is so passe). Anyway, let's not get distracted with Best Picture talk.

Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan as Maud, a working wife and mother who is recruited to join the growing movement and becomes a fierce activist. Mulligan, having a great year with Far From The Madding Crowd's success and a Tony nomination, will likely reap Oscar traction if people like the film but she's backed up by quite the ensemble of talented ladies. Meryl Streep is apt to get all the glory, as she does, for her small role as Emmeline Pankhurst, a catalyst for the story and an icon of Suffragette history, but I'll be interested to see which other members of the supporting cast can win any attention or praise (if any) for strong characterizations or memorable scenes once people start seeing the whole film. Suffragette will premiere at the London Film Festival. 

The trailer and our Yes No Maybe So breakdown -- which we'll do a little differently this time -- after the jump...

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