Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cher reportedly joining "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

Well isn't this an interesting twist! A few sources are reporting tonight that Cher is joining the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Said to be in London currently rehearsing, she will evidently be performing two Abba songs in the film. No other details were revealed on her exact role or character name.

There's also been some speculation about Meryl's participation in the film. As I mentioned in my last post, filming has seemed to wrap in Croatia and we didn't see any pics of Meryl on set, sparking rumors that she wasn't involved after all. But I read this weekend that a possible reason that Meryl did not immediately comment on the Weinstein scandal (she released a statement four days after the story broke) was because her publicist said she was "off the grid" for several days. A film set in Croatia could possibly be "off the grid."

If Meryl is indeed still in the film and now Cher is joining, this latest piece of news is is just one more factor that is sure to get butts in the theater seats.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Poll #5: With which director would you most like to see Meryl work?

Despite Meryl having four projects either in the can, filming, or recently acquired by a studio, there's surprisingly been little news about her specifically in regard to these projects recently. We know Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is currently filming in Croatia (although on Instagram some cast members have apparently already wrapped which gives me pause since we haven't seen Meryl on set), The Post should have its first trailer any day now, Mary Poppins Returns is well into post-production, and The Nix was snatched up by Amazon. There have been about ten billion articles this week about Meryl's association with Harvey Weinstein, and if you're interested in discussing that, feel free to comment below. Of course I have my own opinions on the whole shit show.

So...I thought we'd throw in another poll! After poll #3, someone suggested asking with which director people would most like to see Meryl work.  I think that's a fabulous question to ask. But where to begin?  Well, take a look to the right and see if any of these folks seem suitable. I'm only listing folks that Meryl has never worked with in a live-action feature film. Looking forward to seeing everyone's thoughts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Streep attends HBO premiere of Steven Spielberg documentary

Last night, Meryl attended the premiere of HBO's documentary "Spielberg." While this may not be particularly momentous news, I'm commenting on it because it adds to the buzz surrounding Spielberg's upcoming film, The Post, which of course stars our girl. The documentary is set to air on HBO tomorrow night (October 7), and I'm not sure if Meryl will be in it. She did briefly work with Steven in a cameo voice role in 2001's A.I. Artificial Intelligence. I'm guessing the documentary was primarily produced prior to their pairing for filming The Post this summer, but I have a feeling that Meryl will be included, thus her presence at last night's premiere.

Still desperate waiting for that trailer.

Monday, October 2, 2017

40 years of Meryl on the big screen

On October 2, 1977, Meryl Streep made her film debut in Fred Zinnemann's drama Julia. It was a minor role, but she managed to capture the attention of her co-star Jane Fonda, who, as Meryl has described, opened countless doors for her in the film industry. Only one year later, Streep would star in the film that earned her her first of twenty Academy Award nominations, The Deer Hunter. 1979 saw her win her first for Kramer vs. Kramer.  Together, the three films earned 29 Oscar nominations, with the latter two winning Best Picture. Not a bad welcome for a promising newcomer.

No one could've predicted the prestige Streep's career would achieve over the subsequent 40 years. While we likely can't expect another four decades of performances from her, with a slew of enticing roles in the pipeline over the next year, Streep is showing no signs of slowing down. Thanks for the incredible catalogue of performances you've given us, Meryl. I'll keep watching.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Did Amazon pick up "The Nix"

Several months ago when I posted about the status of the limited series adaptation for Nathan Hill's debut novel The Nix, the project still hadn't landed with any specific studio. Hill had offered that maybe Netflix, Showtime, or Amazon would be in the mix to produce. Yesterday, Variety reported that Amazon Studios has increased its production spending for 2018, and among many other shows included in its pipeline, The Nix was listed as a current project in development.  I assume this means that The Nix has indeed found its home.

No word on when production was scheduled to begin, but having read the book, a lot of the action takes place during the summer, so maybe as soon as spring 2018? I wonder if the release would be likely for the end of next year or spring 2019, as the prime Emmy window tends to be in April or May, just before the deadline for qualification.

Regardless, I'm encouraged by this news, as so little concrete info has been released in some time on the status of The Nix. Always fun to look forward to new projects from Meryl!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trailer expected this week for "The Post"

I read on Awards Watch tonight that there is speculation in the Twitter universe that a trailer for The Post is expected before the end of the month, which means this week.

I'm not sure how much we can rely on this predictor, but apparently Clayton Davis from Awards Circuit also has reason to believe that a trailer will be released this week. It's not that crazy to expect that we get our first glimpse of the film at the end of September. I doubt it will be a full trailer, more likely a teaser running about 45 to 80 seconds.

I hope they're right!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Best Actress 2017: Salma Hayek in "Beatriz at Dinner"

Now that we're approaching October, performances that will contend for Best Actress this year are actually becoming available to view. Namely, Jennifer Lawrence in mother! and Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes. Since Meryl is going to almost certainly be on everyone's radar for her upcoming performance in The Post, I'm planning on providing my two cents this fall on many of the possible frontrunners.

Meryl's performance may ultimately be the last I actually see, since it's not going to be released nationwide until mid January. Similarly, Margot Robbie's performance may not go wide until a similar time, but it's been seen by many people already at the Toronto International Film Festival and we know that I,Tonya is likely going to be a factor.

This year is particularly stacked with notable performances from women on screen, something that is not always the case. Cracking into the top five in votes for the Best Actor category on Awards Watch generally indicates a much-lauded performance. With the preponderance of male-led films each year, it can be difficult to stand out. It's nice to see that on the women's side it's far from a done deal as we approach the last quarter of 2017.

I'm going to start my assessment of this year's performances with one I was actually able to rent already on Itunes: Salma Hayek in Beatriz at Dinner. Before it was released, it was predicted that Hayek might be in the mix for awards, and she still may be, but the buzz has dwindled significantly. It doesn't help that the film was a summer release. But as a dark comedy, her role might show up at the Globes, and with some calling it "the first great film of the Trump era," I think it's worth covering.

I don't want to get into a super detailed synopsis, but the story surrounds Beatriz (Hayek), a holistic healer who's car breaks down at a wealthy client's home, resulting in her staying for dinner and interacting with three couples who represent stereotypical privileged whites whose biggest concern seems to be whether to decide on halibut or steak for dinner. Beatriz in particular clashes with Doug (John Lithgow (this guy's having a great year)), a CEO-type real estate magnate whom Beatriz at first mistakes for the man who ruined her Mexican town with his predatory development. Things get awkward as she uncomfortably confronts him on his way of life.

Hayek does a wonderful job in this picture. Her performance provides such a sharp contrast to the setting and viewpoints of the other main players. She's a healer, sensitive to needs and pain of other living things. Thrust into a scenario where she's surrounded by people who are anathema to everything she believes about the world, Beatriz can't help but draw attention to that contrast and shine light on the carnage that can be left behind from unbridled American capitalism.

I don't expect this film or Hayek's performance to go too far with awards. If anything, as I mentioned, a nod for Best Actress in the Musical/Comedy category is a possibility, but even there I see her as coming in at number six or seven currently. Again, it's a stacked category in 2017. In most other years, she'd likely be in the conversation for an Oscar nom. But it's anyone's guess as this point...