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Entries in Meryl Streep (309)

Thursday
Sep272018

Months of Meryl: Mamma Mia! (2008)

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

#39 —Donna Sheridan, a dancing queen, hotelier, and single mother of a bride-to-be.

MATTHEW: When it comes to motion picture musicals, the old adage certainly holds true — they really don’t make them like they used to. But when it comes to Mamma Mia!, the 2008 cinematic adaptation of the long-running jukebox stage show/certified cash cow that’s still chugging along on the West End and in numerous cities across the globe, one could justifiably say that they, thankfully, never made them quite like this.

Structured around the music of ABBA, the story is thin but not automatically dire, at least on paper: Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is an unusually deceptive 20-year-old engaged to be married to Sky (Dominic Cooper) and living on the fictitious, picturesque Greek island of Kalokairi, where her mother Donna (Meryl Streep) owns and operates a modest yet crumbling hotel...

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Friday
Sep212018

Months of Meryl: Lions for Lambs (2007)

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

 

#38 — Janine Roth, a liberal network journalist faced with an ethical quandary.

JOHNWhen Meryl Streep accepted her Golden Globe for The Devil Wears Prada in January 2007, she divulged a prophecy: “This has been such a fun year to watch movies because of you gals,” she said, citing fellow nominees like Annette Bening, Toni Collette, and Beyoncé. “[It] makes you want to cry with gratitude… until next year.” How could Streep have known that her 2007 would contain some of the most insipid and unwatchable films of her entire career?

In Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs, Streep switches sides from Rendition, her previous War on Terror drama, playing Janine Roth, an investigative journalist given an exclusive scoop by a hawkish, right-wing senator named Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise) about a new military tactic being deployed in Afghanistan. Because Lions for Lambs was made under the same misguided inspiration of everything-is-connected political narratives like Babel, Crash, and Rendition, Streep and Cruise’s conversation is just one of three narrative threads...

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Thursday
Sep132018

Months of Meryl: Rendition (2007)

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

 

#37 —Corrine Whitman, the ruthless head of U.S. intelligence.

MATTHEW: If the one-two punch of A Prairie Home Companion and The Devil Wears Prada in 2006 represent a high-water mark for Meryl Streep then 2007 might very well be the single oddest year in the actress’ career. How else to explain Streep’s decision to accept secondary and even tertiary parts in four independent-to-midrange projects that not a single Streep enthusiast has ever had the inclination to hold up alongside her most acclaimed or memorable works? Streep spent part of the prior year accepting prizes for Prada and, most excitingly, playing one of the all-time greatest characters in theater history on the outdoor stage of the Delacorte. During that period, Streep also found time to dip her toes into the murky waters of post-9/11 cinema for a second time, following up her monstrous mommy in Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate with an equally vile political puppeteer...

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Thursday
Sep062018

Months of Meryl: Evening (2007)

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

#36 —Lila Ross, an old friend of a dying woman.

JOHN: While Meryl Streep is fiercely protective of her and her family’s privacy, she made no secret about what she got her daughter Mamie Gummer for her 24th birthday: Lajos Koltai’s Evening. Adapted from Susan Minot’s 1998 novel by the author herself, along with writer Michael Cunningham (The Hours), Evening follows Vanessa Redgrave’s Ann, an elderly woman drifting in and out of consciousnesses on her deathbed as she recalls a distant memory from her long-ago youth. That memory stars Claire Danes as a twentysomething Ann on the day of her best friend Lila’s (Mamie Gummer) wedding to a man she does not love. Ann, Lila, and the latter’s brother Buddy (Hugh Dancy) are instead infatuated with Harris (Patrick Wilson), a strapping doctor that each will either screw or regret not screwing...

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Thursday
Aug302018

Months of Meryl: Dark Matter (2007)

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

#35 —Joanna Silver, a university patroness with a penchant for Chinese culture.

MATTHEW: On paper, the prospect of Meryl Streep offering her time and talents to an innovative Chinese director’s micro-budgeted filmmaking debut is immediately intriguing. Dark Matter sounds like a welcome divergence for an actress who has seldom strayed from inside Hollywood’s gates over the course of her 30 years in the industry. Noted opera helmer Chen Shi-Zheng’s first foray behind the camera is loosely based on the 1991 University of Iowa shooting, in which Gang Lu, a gifted Ph.D. graduate in the school’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, murdered five people on campus after being passed over for a prestigious dissertation prize, Shi-Zheng’s drama is a work of no small audacity, one in a scattering of American films that have dramatized the unrelenting pressure placed on young Chinese immigrants to provide and succeed in a country that has already stacked the deck against them.

But Dark Matter quickly dashes the hopes one might have harbored for Streep’s curious venture into post-Sundance indie cinema...

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Monday
Aug272018

Beauty vs Beast: Say U.N.C.L.E.

Hello and happy Monday, it's Jason from MNPP with our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" experience - tomorrow is Armie Hammer's birthday, and I don't know if you guys saw but I was kind of a Call Me By Your Name fan. But don't worry - we're never going to make you choose between Elio and Oliver (especially not for Armie's birthday, since he'd most likely lose that one by a substantial margin). No let's take a look back at Armie's other great gay romance (that's what it was, right), Guy Ritchie's underrated 2015 film of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. And yes I know that technically Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo & Armie's Illya Kuryakin were (reluctant) partners, but do we really think if I put the film's actual villain played with swan-necked gusto by Elizabeth Debicki anybody would be beating her? I thought not. So let's make this a contest...

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of contests last week's Doubt-match was a bit of a doozy - over the course of the past seven days every time I checked on Amy Adams & Meryl Streep were about tied. But then what always happens happened - Meryl pulled ahead and stayed ahead and ended up with about 52% of the vote. Said Val:

 

"Does any of it matter once Viola Davis shows up, establishes her family's heartbreaking stakes, and commits grand theft movie all in under 10 minutes!? If nothing else Doubt should be appreciated as a rare moment where Streep seems knocked out by someone else's performance."

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