Sunday, August 12, 2018

Seven years of Word on the Streep!

I'm sure I sound like a broken record every time August 12 rolls around, but I enjoy commemorating the start of this blog with a big thank-you to any and all readers of Word on the Streep.  It's been seven years since I started writing down my obsessive thoughts about Meryl, and after nearly 800 posts, my interest is far from waning.

It has truly been a joy to read everyone's thoughts and opinions over the years, and I look forward to another twelve months of interaction. We have a lot to look forward to with all of Meryl's projects in the pipeline! 

Thank you again.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Poll #8: With which leading man did Meryl have the best chemistry?

It's been over three months since I've posted a poll so I figured we were due. Blogger has kind of been pissing me off lately, as they had issues with sending email notifications for comments for several weeks, and have also now discontinued they very easy-to-use poll gadget. So, it may look a little different that usual, as I've had to use an outside format.

Meryl has shared the screen with a wide array of leading men over the years, a handful on more than one occasion. I thought it'd be fun to consider who her best leading man has been.

Check out the choices to the right of the page, and of course comment if your favorite does not show up on the list. I'd be interested to read people's other choices, as I couldn't include everyone.

I'd have to say that mine is Kevin Kine in Sophie's Choice. I believe that Meryl had seen him in a play and recommended him to director Alan Pakula. It was Kline's first film role and for me, Meryl and Kevin were just a tragically fantastic pairing as Sophie and Nathan.

Happy voting!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

James Norton joins "Little Women"

English actor James Norton has reportedly joined the cast of Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women. 

Yeah, not exactly repulsive. No word yet on whom the Flatliners actor is set to portray. Maybe Meg's husband? 

Filming will begin early October of this year. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Is there a role for Meryl in Hillary Clinton and Steven Spielberg's new limited series?

Multiple sources have just reported that Hillary Clinton is teaming with Steven Spielberg to bring Elaine Weiss's book The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote to the small screen. The story tells of the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment, which ultimately gave women in the United States the right to vote. Plans are for a possible limited series.

When I researched these articles, I immediately thought of Meryl of course. She's a friend of Hillary's, just worked with Spielberg last year on The Post and this is exactly the type of project that Streep typically jumps at.

As early as 2012, Meryl was quoted as saying she'd to do a movie with Kathy Bates about suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The reviews I've read of The Woman's Hour describe a lot of backstories, including those of Anthony and Stanton, among a multitude of other characters.

No one is apparently hired to adapt a screenplay yet, but I'm obviously going to be keeping a close eye on this project. If they hustle, maybe they could get it together for a fall shoot next year, just in time for a release during the tumultuous political climate we're likely to see unfold in 2020 (a la The Nix).

Monday, July 30, 2018

"Mamma Mia!" sequel continues strong run at box office

In it's second weekend, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again took in another $15 million, bringing its domestic total to $70m.  Box Office Mojo reported that the film had a larger drop than expected (45%), but it still came in second after the debut of Tom Cruise's latest Mission Impossible entry.

A strong international showing brings the film's worldwide total to a hefty $168 million already. I don't expect it to reach the levels of the original, which topped $600m, but good reviews and positive word of mouth will hopefully propel this to a similarly strong finish. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Eliza Scanlen likely to join "Little Women"

We may have completed our quartet of March sisters. Australian Eliza Scanlen is reportedly in consideration for director Greta Gerwig's upcoming remake of Little Women. Scanlen most recently starred alongside Amy Adams in HBO's Sharp Objects. She would play the oft-ill sister, Beth. Variety reported that she tested opposite Emma Stone (Meg) earlier this month and evidently did well.

I'd never heard of Scanlen before this news, but it's good to see that the entire cast won't be completely A-list. That can almost get a little distracting, to be honest. Scanlen and Stone will join Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Florence Pugh as youngest sister, Amy. The only other main character we have yet to hear about is that of Marmee, mother to the March girls.

Filming is set for October.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Film review: "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" (2018)

My friend Scooter and I caught a matinee of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again yesterday. In the preceding couple of days, it was already apparent that the sequel was poised to establish itself as a formidable follow-up to the immensely popular original. Released almost ten years to the date of its predecessor, this second iteration has a distinction that the first installment failed to garner: critical praise. Yes, with a Rotten Tomatoes score at 78%, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, while not a consensus gem, is somewhat surprisingly appeasing critics with its more polished execution.

Both Scooter and I agreed that the first quarter of the film dragged a bit. It opens with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) busily preparing for the reopening of her mother's hotel. We learn early that Meryl's character Donna has indeed passed, thus striking the emotional drive for both the present-day events and flashback sequences. Considering Meryl was barely in the movie until a single scene at the end (with a touching performance of My Love, My Life), my favorite scenes were with Lily James, who plays the young Donna. She is an absolute joy to watch onscreen. Beautiful, energetic, glowing, with a light, yet lovely voice. We're given a glimpse into how she met Sophie's "three fathers." And while it was particularly silly to believe she would run into a devilishly handsome contemporary every fifty paces, it was nonetheless enjoyable to follow as their relationships unfold. I admit I developed a little crush on Josh Dylan, who plays young Bill (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd).

Comic relief was adeptly provided by both Julie Walters (Rosie) and especially Christine Baranski (Tanya), with such irreverant quips from Tanya as "be still my beating vagina." Alexa Davies (young Rosie) and Jessica Keenan-Wyn were delightful as their twenty-something counterparts.

And then of course there's queen Cher. Portraying Ruby, Donna's mother and Sophie's grandmother, she flies in on a helicopter to crash the hotel's opening extravaganza. I told some friends that she's very Cher-y in her fun performance of Fernando with Andy Garcia, who portrays the hotel manager, Fernando, extraordinarily a former lover of Ruby's. Overall, pretty much only Meryl and Cher sounded like professional singers, but that's sort of the tone of the film, I guess, and it didn't really bother me. 

Numbers are still trickling in from the box office, but the opening weekend is likely to land around $34 million, slightly under the projected total of $40m. Worldwide, it's already hit a total of over $76 million, opening in multiple large international markets simultaneously with its U.S. release.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, part of the appeal of this film is likely the simple fact that it's fun. While there are some sentimental or even sad scenes, those moments lend the film a more touching human element, despite its often predictable, corny dialogue. I have only seen the first film once (opening weekend 2008), and frankly have had little interest in a second viewing. For part two, however, I just might have to get myself to the theater for another dose.