Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Accents Mastered updated

Wow! It's been over two and half years since I've updated this tag. I didn't really see the need to list anything for Meryl's performance in The Post. If you happen to think she donned a certain accent to portray Katharine Graham, let me know.

Streep's role in Mary Poppins Returns certainly warrants a post, however. Given that we really don't know for sure where Topsy is supposed to be from, I can't with confidence say exactly what accent Meryl is doing in the film. But, Topsy's full name looks Russian and the accent sounded vaguely Russian (or something Eastern European), so that's what I'm going with. Again, if anyone hears something more specific in her speech, let's hear it.

The updated list is as follows:

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)--Tennessean
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)--British (specifically Received Pronunciation)
Sophie's Choice (1982)--Polish (in English and German)
Silkwood (1983)--Texan
Plenty (1985)--British (I think it's also RP)
Out of Africa (1985)--Danish
Ironweed (1987)--Irish-American
A Cry in the Dark (1988)--New Zealand (with strong layers of Australian)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)--Italian (Meryl calls it Iowatalian)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)--Northern Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
Prime (2005)--Manhattan (specifically Upper West Side)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Upper Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (again RP)
August: Osage County (2013)--Oklahoman
The Homesman (2014)--Central Plains Midwestern
Suffragette (2015)--British (Received Pronunciation)
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)--Mid-Atlantic
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)--vaguely Russian

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" receives three BAFTA nominations

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its nominations this morning. Mary Poppins Returns came away with three nominations, in Original Music, Production Design and Costume Design.

I'm sure a lot of people are shocked that Emily Blunt didn't sneak in over Viola Davis for Lead Actress, but I don't think I'm one of them. Yes, had I made a predictions list, I would've guessed Blunt in the top five, but the film, for me, was more about the spectacle. That was recognized by the three nominations it received.

Had the film garnered noms for both Blunt and Best Picture, that would've been quite the feat. This should've been the easiest one for Blunt after the Musical/Comedy Globe, however, so the chances of her name being mentioned the morning Oscar nominations are announced is looking pretty slim.

In other categories, aside from Davis's nod, I was disappointed to see Regina King's name out of the mix for Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk. I'm guessing Margot Robbie snuck in over her for Mary Queen of Scots. I'll be interested to how Glenn Close fares here. If she wins the SAG over Olivia Colman, I think Close's Oscar chances will still be in tact even if Colman wins BAFTA.  If Close wins BAFTA, I don't see how she loses Oscar.

The BAFTA Awards will be presented on February 10.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New (brief) clip from "Big Little Lies" and reaction to the Globes

Last night during the Golden Globes, HBO revealed a trailer for many of its upcoming shows this winter/spring. Included in that was a very brief clip of Meryl and the rest of the cast. Start at 0:26 if you want to bypass some of the other stuff.

Still no definitive date on when we can expect the second season to be premiered.

Now to the Globes. Overall fairly underwhelming as far as the ceremony went. Andy Sandberg and Sandra Oh were fine, not super funny.  I REALLY miss Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. 

Probably the biggest shocks were Bohemian Rhapsody winning Best-Picture-Drama and Rami Malek winning for his role in the film as Freddie Mercury. I haven't seen it yet, but it hasn't done super well with critics, despite it's enormous box office performance. I figured Bradley Cooper had the upper hand here, both for director and picture.

I was thrilled that Glenn Close took the trophy for Lead Actress in a Drama (The Wife). At this point, as Olivia Colman won in Comedy for The Favourite (incidentally over Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns), I think this is sort of down to a two-person race. Had Lady Gaga won for A Star is Born, I think she'd still stand a chance for the Oscar. SAG will be a big night for the Lead Actress category. I really like Olivia Colman, but am pulling for Close.

BAFTA nominations will be announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

"Big Little Lies" coming in June?(!)

So, only a day after I posted my expectation for season two of Big Little Lies being released around March, we now have Nicole Kidman quoted as saying she thinks it's not coming out until June.

June? JUNE?! That's so far away! And it would surprise me that they would chose to release it essentially eleven months before the 2019-20 Emmy deadline. The only reason I can think for this would be to avoid matchups against other high-profile shows or actors. Game of Thrones, in its last season, is probably going to be a huge contender. But I doubt if season three of The Crown is going to be ready before May 31 this year, so if BLL doesn't come out until after that, then the two will go head-to-head, with Olivia Colman likely leading the race in Lead Actress in a Drama. 

Of course it's not a done deal, as HBO is mum on the official date. The sooner the better, please!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking ahead to 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a great 2018. Looking back on the year Meryl had, it was generally pretty quiet as far as releases go. Yes, she was honored with her 21st Oscar nomination for The Post, but her only two screen roles were both for sequels: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns. While her performances in both movies were small, the two films themselves were/are fairly high-profile, particularly when it comes to their respective box office returns. Mamma Mia! had a worldwide total of almost $400 million, while Mary Poppins, currently in theaters, is likely to fair similarly well.

2019 should be a very different year in terms of Meryl's roles, however. The 'big one' will likely be Big Little Lies, in which she portrays Mary Louise Wright, mother-in-law to Nicole Kidman's character, Celeste. I think I posted at one point that I expected a trailer for the HBO series in the fall, but thus far all we've had are some pics and a brief action shot of Streep in a teaser promotion. There is still no official word on when the second (and likely final) season will premiere, but there's been buzz that it will land in March. Considering it's seven episodes, all of which Meryl is apparently in by the way, it's highly unlikely to be much later, as they'll want it to wrap up before Emmy deadlines on May 31st. Meryl's role is said to be juicy, and with the shear scope and popularity of the show, this may be the key performance of her year.

Next fall we'll get to see her in two separate films, Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and Greta Gerwig's remake of Little Women. Both films have wrapped, with Laundromat's release date yet to be finalized. I'm not sure if it will be released in theaters at the same time it goes to Netflix, but I imagine it'll be fourth quarter. All signs point to Streep's role being a supporting one. When it was first announced that she had joined the cast, it was said that her character would be the "emotional through-line" of the picture. I'm guessing she plays one of the people who are defrauded by the firm Mossack Fonseca. Maybe we'll see her a bit at the beginning of the film, and then her plight will be the undercurrent of what the rest of the film is based upon, in that the firm is found to be an enormous front for money laundering and fraud.

Little Women will hit theaters on Christmas Day. The cast of course is highly touted, but by all accounts, Meryl's role as Aunt March may be a very minor one. Not that that's necessarily bad, as it's good when she's in seemingly great projects with good directors, but of course it's always nice to see her more prominently showcased in lead roles.

And I know she also has the Martin Scorsese project with Sharon Stone lined up, but until we have more definitive info on what it's actually about, my assumption will continue to be that it's not actually a narrative feature film where Meryl is playing a role, but more of a salutatory retrospective on someone's Robert De Niro.

Which brings us to probably my favorite part of blogging: potential future projects. IMDbPro currently only lists The Nix as "Projects in Development" for Streep. It's been over two years since it was announced that she would not only star in but produce a limited series based on Nathan Hill's hit debut novel. Another possible (prominent?) supporting role, but might we see this put into production sometime this spring or summer? I hope so. Other than that, we have no
confirmed projects or interests from team Streep. I maintain that The Good House would be a fantastic project, but as it's been over five years since that was announced, the further out it's pushed, the less likely it seems it will happen. Were Nyad a possibility, filming it this year would be prefect timing for a summer 2020 release, sentimentally coinciding with the schmaltzy coverage of the Olympics.

As always, time will tell how her performances this year will be received, as well as what we can expect for future projects. Regardless, I'm excited for the next twelve months!

What do you guys think? Any roles you want to throw out there as suggestions or predictions of what we might see Meryl tackle in the next few years?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Mary Poppins Returns" surging at the box office

A little over a week after its debut, Mary Poppins Returns is garnering strong receipts from theaters. According to Box Office Mojo, through Wednesday night the film had earned nearly $61 million domestically (with an additional $22m in foreign totals). In a somewhat atypical scenario, the movie is actually gaining steam in its second week, versus seeing a slight dip in totals.

Friday estimates add another $10m, the three-day weekend is also projected to have a takeaway of $32m, which will bring the film's total just over $100m.  The high daily returns and second week boost, as reported by Mojo, suggest the film is "on its way to a lengthy domestic run."

Get it, Mary.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Film review: "Mary Poppins Returns" (2018)

I managed to catch a matinĂ©e of Mary Poppins Returns this afternoon. Going into it, the overwhelming impression I'd had was that the film was well made, the storyline heartfelt and and the general experience a joyous one. Coming out of it, I'd have to say I (mostly) agree with all three. I'm certainly a big fan of the original, and and even bigger fan of Julie Andrews. Emily Blunt of course had some very big shoes to fill in the titular role, but pulled it off convincingly.

The film takes place many years after the original during the Great Depression, where the Banks children are all grown up and Michael (Ben Whishaw (who's best in show IMO)) is on the verge of losing his childhood home to repossession. His wife has died, leaving him alone with his three children Anabel, John and Georgie. Aunt Jane is in the picture as well, and she and Michael realize their father had left them shares to the bank, which they expect could cover the debt owed for the house. If only they can find the papers.

Cue Mary Poppins, who descends from the clouds on an old kite Georgie has loses control of, and over the course of two hours, she and the wee Banks children, along with lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) go on a series of fantastical mini adventures around London.

The crux of the drama is that the Banks might lose their home. The kids hatch an idea to sell their mother's old bowl, which she had always described as "priceless."  Here's where we are treated to Meryl's scene, as she portrays Mary's "second" cousin Topsy (her full name is Tatiana T-something with a vaguely Russian-y accent), who owns a fix-it shop. She's sought out to help repair the crack of said bowl, with the slight wrinkle being that her shop turns upside down every second Wednesday, of course the day they all happen to show up to ask for help. Meryl gets to sing a song entitled "Turning Turtle" and actually has a pretty physical role, rolling around, dancing, swinging, standing on her head. Sadly, mom's bowl is deemed inexpensive, regardless of Topsy's ability to repair it.

Fast forward toward the end, where it seems all hope is lost for the Banks' as we see them moving out of their home. That is until Michael realizes the bank notes were used by Georgie to repair the holes in the beat up kite. With the help of Mary, Jack and Jack's lamplighting friends, they manage to stall things enough for Michael and Jane to make it to the bank, where a devious Mr. Wilkins (Colin Firth) tries to tell them it's too late. In walks Dick Van Dyke (in character of course), Wilkins' uncle and chairman of the bank, who ousts Wilkins and announces that Michael's childhood tuppence investment has secured the loan payoff. Hurray!

As expected, the effects and stage production were extremely strong. I have to admit though that for about the first hour of the film, it seemed like the actual plot of the film got a bit lost, in that the Banks' losing their home was just a backstory, and the real focus of the movie was just showcasing magical experiences for the kids on screen. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that, and I felt this less in the second half, but I was generally underwhelmed at the beginning.

And I might get some hate for this, but I just wish movie musicals had more amazing singers nowadays. God bless Emily Blunt but there were zero wows for me. I realize she's not that kind of vocalist, and it isn't even a comparison to Julie Andrews, but I like a little more 'pop' in performances like these. Same sort of goes for Miranda. Their acting was wonderful, however.

The film is doing fairly decent with critics and should make a lot of money. Pictures like this tend to have pretty good legs, especially over the extended holiday season. I have a feeling I'll never see it a second time, though.

One thumb up, one thumb sideways.