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"For the life of me I will never understand why Audra McDonald isn't bigger outside of Broadway." - Brian

"I will add to that list Irfhan Khan; he gets roles steadily, but in my mind he should be a household name." -Rebecca

"I'll also echo that Rosemarie DeWitt is one of the most talented working actresses, full stop. There is no other Best Supporting Actress of 2008." - Hayden


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Entries in Months of Meryl (21)

Thursday
May242018

Months of Meryl: The River Wild (1994)

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

 

 #21 —Gail Hartman, a rafting expert whose distracted husband and disgruntled son will soon turn out to be the least of her problems…

MATTHEWThe River Wild opens with the rather surprising sight of Meryl Streep rowing a kayak with steely determination and brisk athletic prowess down the lengthy expanse of the Charles River. Watching Curtis Hanson’s waterborne caper for the first time in 2018, I asked myself with stunned curiosity the same question that surely rolled through the minds of ‘90s audiences upon the film’s release: How exactly did she get here? The River Wild is a light rip-roarer that could have easily ended up as little more than a forgettable IMDB entry in the filmography of Sigourney Weaver or Geena Davis or Linda Hamilton were it not for someone’s out-of-the-box idea to transform one of our most famously worldly and erudite thespians into a hard-bodied, take-charge action heroine...

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Thursday
May172018

Months of Meryl: The House of the Spirits (1993)

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


#20 —
Clara del Valle Trueba, paranormal matriarch of a prosperous South American family.

JOHN: Yes, paranormal. But please, take your expectations about Meryl Streep as psychic (and Glenn Close as her scorned, sexually repressed sister-in-law) that may be levitating midair and place them firmly on the ground. Actually, go ahead and place them below the Earth’s surface, and then you might be ready to endure one of the absolute worst films Streep has ever been caught in. The House of the Spirits, an adaptation of Isabel Allende’s titular novel, chronicles the tumultuous history of the Trueba family, a prosperous South American dynasty headed by Esteban Trueba (Jeremy Irons), a peasant turned plantation owner turned conservative senator, who marries Clara del Valle (Streep), the youngest daughter of a wealthy, liberal family, and did I mention that she can move things with her mind and predict the future?

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Thursday
May102018

Months of Meryl: Death Becomes Her (1992)

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

 

 #19 —Madeline Ashton, a past-her-prime Hollywood actress who goes to great lengths to preserve her good looks.

MATTHEWMeryl Streep and her good friend Goldie Hawn once came very close to riding off a cliff together. During the early 1990s, the pair had been in search of a dual-star vehicle to appear in and were initially in contention to play the titular roles in Thelma & Louise, along with one-time possibilities Jodie Foster, Frances McDormand, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Hawn and Streep actively courted Pathé Entertainment’s former C.E.O. Alan Ladd, Jr. for the parts and even tossed around ideas for a happier alternate ending. (Streep, who would have played Louise, wanted Thelma to live.) Eventually, Streep’s schedule got in the way, while Ladd deemed Hawn an iffy fit for the project, clearing the way for Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon to take on the most popular parts of their careers...

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Thursday
May032018

Months of Meryl: Defending Your Life (1991)

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


#18 —Julia, a quality human being awaiting her judgment in the afterlife.

JOHN: Defending Your Life, Albert Brooks’ 1991 purgatory comedy, actually contains two movies. One involves Brooks’ Daniel Miller dying in a car accident, arriving in the leisurely Judgment City, and having his entire life reviewed in a trial that will determine whether he is reincarnated as a different person or sent to a higher dimension. The other, shorter film lodged inside Brooks’ painfully vain lark is about the absolute perfection of Meryl Streep. Guess which one is more enjoyable...

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Thursday
Apr262018

Months of Meryl: Postcards from the Edge (1990)

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

 

 #17 —Suzanne Vale, a recovering drug addict and B-list actress of royal Hollywood pedigree.

MATTHEWIt has always been impossible to escape the metatextual associations of Carrie Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge, which really means it has always been impossible to escape the shared history of two artists: Fisher and her famous mother, Debbie Reynolds, a relationship that is the very bedrock of Fisher’s 1987 novel and Mike Nichols’ subsequent screen adaptation. To watch the latter now, in a world without Fisher or Reynolds, is an experience of unavoidable and indescribable bittersweetness. It helps, however, that Fisher confronted even the most harrowing episodes of her lifelong addiction with a sly, battle-ready smirk and a tart tongue, which always ensured that she — and she alone — would get the last word. On the screen, Postcards from the Edge remains a salty, joyous, yet tough-minded immersion within the rocky recovery of its Fisher-like heroine, Suzanne Vale, and a prickly heartwarmer that continually confuses our inclinations towards laughter or tears.

This is largely because of Fisher, whose hysterical one-liners are an art form unto themselves. Consider, for a moment, that such gems as “Do you always talk in bumper stickers?” and “Instant gratification takes too long” and “What am I supposed to do, go to a halfway house for wayward SAG actors?” are all spoken within the first 20 minutes of the movie, and there are plenty more where those came from...

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Thursday
Apr192018

Months of Meryl: She-Devil (1989)

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

#16 — Mary Fisher, a frivolous romance novelist who steals the husband of a dowdy housewife.

JOHN: For such a tepid and unruly film, She-Devil enjoys quite an outsized reputation. Considered by many to be the nadir of Streep’s early career and one of her worst performances, She-Devil is also a Streep turn that is often reblogged context-free online, which makes sense when one considers its outre, GIF-ready moments of ironic femininity and gaudy Real Housewives of Long Island aesthetic that some might consider ahead of its time. Having seen these images of Streep’s Mary Fisher before watching the film, I had anticipated fun kitsch or perhaps even smart camp. Roseanne’s film debut! Susan Seidelman with a budget! Meryl’s comedy vehicle to silence the critics! But these are promises that She-Devil most certainly does not keep...

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