Sunday, June 17, 2018

Season 2 of "Big Little Lies" in the can?

Nicole Kidman has been more than generous with her Instagram posts in regard to updates on filming of the second season of Big Little Lies. Her latest seems to suggest that shooting has indeed wrapped:


I recently reported that it looked like filming would be coming to a close soon, and that now seems to be the case.  I've read that there are a lot of interior shots for the series that were not shot in Monterey, but if memory serves, those were taken care of in the first half of production.

As I've also previously mentioned, the big question now is when the hell will be get to see the new season?! We already know it's not coming this year, so the best we can hope for is the first quarter of 2019, which seems reasonable, considering season one began in February last year. Is February sweeps still a thing, even if it's HBO? 

Now can we please get a few more details on The Laundromat soon?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

New clip from "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

A clip I haven't seen yet showed up on YouTube the other day from United International Pictures, an Argentinian site that is likely distributing the film there:



The clip shows the filming of the "Waterloo" scene, where young Donna (Lily James) meets young Harry (Hugh Skinner).  Donna of course was played by Meryl in the original ten years ago, while Harry was portrayed by Colin Firth.

The premiere of the film is kind of sneaking up on us, with only six weeks remaining before it arrives in theaters in the U.S. and U.K.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Filming wrapping up on "Big Little Lies" season 2

The much-anticipated second season of HBO's powerhouse limited series Big Little Lies began filming in mid March. There have been a few articles recently indicating that production is still underway, but that it's likely wrapping up this month. Three months sort of seemed like a reasonable length of time, but when I consider that it's almost seven hours worth of programming, that's actually a pretty swift schedule. This photo of Meryl with a Monterey resident is a few weeks old,  but it's the first time I've seen it anywhere:


Nicole Kidman's Instagram photos of her and her costars out bowling has been making the social media rounds today as well.  I had a lazy afternoon yesterday and just happened to watch the last episode from season one and it is so damn good. This is going to be a wonderful thing to look forward to for several weeks this winter. 

(on left) Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Shailene Woodley




Monday, May 28, 2018

Who will Streep play in "The Laundromat"?

It was announced two weeks ago that Meryl had been tapped to star in The Laundromat, a "fact-based" film directed by Steven Soderbergh and based on the book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite. I haven't found any other information since the announcement that describes who we can expect Meryl to portray.  I had mentioned in the comments of my original post that the most likely character seems like it would be journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She helped lead the release of the Panama Papers, which had demonstrated tax evasion efforts by a law firm based out of Panama called Mossack Fonesca. Her involvement unfortunately got her killed, as she was murdered in a car bombing last October. 

Galizia was Maltese, which of course means she's from Malta. I had to actually look at a map online to see exactly where it is. It's a little Southern European island in the Mediterranean Sea not far from Sicily. I've watched some video of Galizia and this would mean another fun accent for Meryl to master, one I certainly never conceived she would undertake. In the videos and other pictures I've seen, it crossed my mind that I'm not sure if we'd consider Galizia white? I certainly don't want Meryl embroiled in a whitewashing fiasco for a role, but if it does end up being Galizia that Meryl is playing, I think this will fall more along the lines of playing an Italian (Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County) or a Greek (Maria Callas in the never-produced Master Class). Perhaps more challenging will be that Galizia was 53 when she died. Meryl turns 69 in a few weeks (but that's basically the same spread for when she just played Katharine Graham).

I haven't read the book yet, but my understanding is that Galizia is only mentioned briefly in it. That being said, who knows what's all going to be in the movie, as the articles announcing Meryl's potential participation described her character as the "emotional throughline" of the film. I don't know if that means a leading or supporting role. We also know that Streep is familiar with Galizia's work, as Meryl played tribute to her and other slain journalists a few months ago for "paying the hardest price for their questions."

Again, however, the character Meryl plays could be a completely different person! But it just really seems like this is the most likely. Netflix is in the running for distribution rights and filming is evidently planned for this fall. Looking forward to learning more hopefully soon. 




Monday, May 21, 2018

Academy Awards analysis (2009)

By 2009, Meryl had become incredibly overdue for a second Lead Actress Oscar. She came close for 2008's Doubt, but came up short that year behind Kate Winslet in The Reader. With her acclaimed performance in Julie & Julia only a year later, it seemed early on like Meryl might actually make it. She'd been lauded by multiple film critic circles and the film itself was generally well-received, including a fantastic box office performance.

Sadly, Sandra Bullock swooped in with very little critical praise for her performance in The Blind Side to basically sweep the television awards that year, winning the drama Globe (Meryl won comedy), SAG, BFCA (tied with Meryl!) and the Oscar. I hadn't realized until checking for which awards Bullock had been nominated that year and saw just now that she wasn't even nominated at BAFTA.  I guess that's not super surprising, considering The Blind Side is a distinctly American movie.

OK let's keep it real. This performance should not have come anywhere near an Academy Award. I love me some Sandy Bullock, but I maintain that this award was more of an industry recognition for the fact that she'd been a box office powerhouse for nearly twenty years. The Blind Side also did extremely well in theaters and had that helpful Best Picture nom with the Academy, versus the solo Actress nod for Meryl in her movie.



Wonderful speech and Bullock looks stunning. It was sort of a fun little back and forth that she and Meryl had during that awards season, as Sandra made fun of the often over-hyped way people tend to pit actresses against each other. As she told Oprah the morning after her win, she wanted to diffuse that nonsense when they both tied for the Critics' Choice win by kissing Meryl. It was cute. 

Honestly, the biggest disappointment for me in all this is that the role Bullock should've possibly one for was 2013's Gravity. It was a way better movie and way better performance, and while she was nominated, it was very unlikely that they were going to award her twice. Had she not won for Blind Side, I think it's very possible that Cate Blanchett would still be without a lead win.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Streep in talks for Soderbergh film "The Laundromat"

I have to admit that when I saw the title of the article of Meryl starring in a "Panama Papers" thriller by a director named Steven S., I had to do a bit of a double take.  No, it's not a sequel to her recent Pentagon Papers film The Post that was directed by Steven Spielberg. Instead, it's been announced that Streep is set to star in director Steven Soderbergh's new project entitled The Laundromat, based on the so-called Panama Papers, which were "leaked documents that showed how Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, allowed the wealthy and the connected to funnel money illegally in and around the world." The script was written by Scott Z Burns is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jake Bernstein's book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite. Antonio Banderas and Gary Oldman are also in talks to join.

Very little has been revealed about Meryl's role at this point, other than that her character is apparently the "emotional throughline" of the movie. In reading a few tidbits about the book, it totally seems like an interesting topic, and I'll probably pick up a copy. I wasn't able to glean any idea, however, of what Meryl's character would be (maybe the whistleblower?) Of course I want to know if it'll be a lead role/supporting role.  I also have no idea on why it's called The Laundromat.  Maybe what they call the network for funneling funds illegally. More to come on all that, I'm sure.

No word yet either on when filming may get underway, but it looks like Netflix is interested in distribution rights. It's nice to see her announced to be working with another great director!

Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and Steven Soderbergh



Thursday, May 10, 2018

New video from "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"

A new video has been released showing a full song performed by Lily James as a "young Meryl" in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again:



By young Meryl, of course I mean "young Meryl's character." I maintain that I'm not particularly enthusiastic about Meryl participating in this film, as her role is obviously very small. That said, watching this clip I'm sort of looking forward to seeing it. Yes, it'll be campy, silly, low-brow and maybe even poorly written. But I highly doubt it will be boring.