Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" available for digital download

As of yesterday, Mary Poppins Returns was available for home viewing through certain digital download options. Physical media like DVD and Blu-ray come out next week (do people still buy those?).

I think I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I don't really have much desire to see the film again. Despite that, I'm a sucker for extra features, to which a simple click of a button on my computer will give me access. So I might end up forking over the bucks for it. 

There was an interesting article today in USA Today about what can be expected from the film in terms of its place in movie history. With the popularity of the original classic with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, I tend to be pessimistic about Mary Poppins Returns being looked back on as anywhere near as memorable or accomplished. It was an enjoyable movie-going experience, but a forgettable one, for me. 

Ultimately, I'm not sweating it either way, as Meryl had a bit part and there are much bigger and better things to come.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Streep trending top five for Supporting Actress in "The Laundromat"

For several years now, my main source of consistent, accurate commentary on the upcoming chances for film awards has been in the forums of Awards Watch. From the moment the Oscars are over, new polls surge for the next year's predictions in multiple categories. Meryl, of course, is a mainstay on the site (whether they love her or are jealous of hate her). Failing to predict her, at least early on, is a bold and probably stupid choice, as she's shown time after time that when she's in contention, hers is usually the last name left off the list nomination morning.

This year is no exception, as Streep again has a legitimate film role in contention for awards. Little is actually known about her character in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming Panama Papers drama The Laundromat. But needless to say, with the pedigree of the picture, if Meryl's role is more than tiny she's going to be on people's radars. With that, the March poll at Awards Watch lists Meryl in the top five (I's early) for Best Supporting Actress.

Let's break down the top five:

1. Margot Robbie (74 votes) in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Robbie portrays murdered actress Sharon Tate in a story set during the time of the Manson Family murders. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, biopics are usually Oscar-bait and this is likely a complicated role. It would be Robbie's second nomination following last year's lead nom for I, Tonya.

2. Annette Bening (56 votes) in The Report. She's playing Senator Dianne Feinstein in a post-9/11 drama about CIA interrogation tactics. Another real life character. This would be Bening's fifth nom and many would say she's due.

3. Laura Dern (47 votes) for Little Women. Sound familiar? Yes, Meryl is in this latest adaptation by director Greta Gerwig as well. I'm sure a lot of people might consider Streep's role as Aunt March a contender for this film as well, but it sounds like her screen time will likely be too brief for consideration. Dern is therefore the obvious choice here for supporting. After her recent Emmy love, this would be Dern's third nomination for Oscar. I have a feeling that this might be a tough one though, as (another) remake of Louisa May Alcott's classic may seem a bit tired for voters.

4. Scarlett Johansson (44 votes) for Jojo Rabbit. This film is apparently supposed to be a dark comedy. Johansson plays a mother hiding a Jewish boy during World War II. Yes, that totally sounds comedic. There's usually a newbie in the top five, and this would be Johansson's first nomination.

5. Meryl Streep (36 votes) for The Laundromat. I supposed I've already said what I know about this. Meryl is in a highly-anticipated film by an acclaimed director. It's a no-brainer that people are predicting her. I actually think it's incredible how high she's ranked, considering we know so little about her character. This would be Streep's 22nd nomination.

I'd be surprised if we didn't get at least one person of color in the mix. Octavia Spender in Luce? Janelle Monaé in Harriet? Jennifer Hudson in Cats? We've got a long way to go, but it's exciting to have Meryl in the mix again this year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Meryl's awards chances for 2019

Now that awards season is over (poor Glenn), we can turn our attention to speculation on how Meryl may fare for recognition for her upcoming projects. There are three chances for her this year: Big Little Lies, The Laundromat and Little Women.

By far, I think her most likely chance at nominations is going to be for BLL. With the popularity and quality of the first season, and the fact that Meryl's performance is so highly anticipated, I'll be shocked if she doesn't get nominated for at least a couple of the big three TV awards: Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG. Of course, since the show doesn't air until June, any Emmy love won't come until September, 2020.

By all accounts, and as I've previously mentioned, her participation in Greta Gerwig's remake of Little Women (set for release at Christmas) is likely to be too small for even supporting consideration. I'd be thrilled if I were wrong, but there are people who have read the script that suggest her part is indeed brief.

Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat is a bit more of an enigma. If Meryl really has more than just a minor role, I imagine there will be an awards push for her. Certainly Gary Oldman is a big-time name in the film who will garner an effort from Netflix as well. So, considering the press releases last year suggesting that Meryl's role is the "emotional throughline" of the story, maybe there's something there.

No news on what, if anything, Meryl will film this year. I still think The Nix would be awesome!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Oscar predictions--2019

The day is nearly here. Although our girl Meryl isn't up for anything this year (even if a film she was in, Mary Poppins Returns has a few tech noms), I'm still look forward to the culmination of a year's worth of prognosticating and tuning in to see who gets the big awards.

As I usually do, I'm throwing my two cents in on who I think might score in the top categories. None of these predictions are going to be out of left field, but I'll add a runner-up just for fun.

Hope everyone enjoys the show!

Best Picture
alt. Green Book

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
alt. Spike Lee (BlaKkKlansman)

Best Actress
Glenn Close (The Wife)
alt. Olivia Colman (The Favourite)

Best Actor
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
alt. Christian Bale (Vice)

Best Supporting Actress
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
alt. Amy Adams (Vice)

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
alt. Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Streep to lend her voice to new Audible comedy program

Multiple sources are reporting this morning that Audible has reached a deal with Broadway Video to produce audio-only original comedy programming. Meryl has apparently signed on as guest (voice) actor for the first show, entitled Heads Will Roll. It's described in Variety as a “workplace comedy that takes place in a medieval castle.”  Meryl will portray an actress assisting a peasant rebellion against an evil queen, portrayed by Saturday Night Live's comedy queen Kate McKinnon.

Others attached to the same project include Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Queer Eye's "Fab Five" and Bob the Drag Queen (Ru Paul's Drag Race). 

I'm a big fan of Audible and many of the other names mentioned above, and it's always exciting to see Meryl in a new project. Granted, I'd prefer one that's on screen, but I'll likely tune in to to listen to Heads Will Roll. The show is expected to run for ten episodes. No word on when it will be available for listening, but it's evidently already done filming and in the editing process. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Steven Soderbergh talks "The Laundromat"

Indiewire did an interview with director Steven Soderbergh the other day about his current film High Flying Bird, and in it he talks a little bit about The Laundromat. Meryl of course has a role in the film (probably small?). Don't get too excited. The article doesn't get too into the details of the story. It's more about the nature of the filming of The Laundromat itself, in that it required a variety of shooting techniques and settings to capture the type of story Soderbergh wished to convey. He states that it was fun project to work on. 

An interesting blurb includes Soderbergh addressing the fact that High Flying Bird was getting a brief theatrical release. He states that his communication with Netflix was essentially that he didn't really need for them to make any attempts at a theatrical release. But the optics of doing so for a "Meryl Streep film" and not for the film starring a cast of African Americans was an understandable consideration when hoping to create a level playing field for Netflix's future acquisitions. Regardless, I'm just glad that this venue will get as many eyes on both projects as possible, certainly more than traditional theatrical runs would be expected to.

The Laundromat is set for release sometime this fall. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" shut out at BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented its awards today. Meryl, of course wasn't up for anything, but Mary Poppins Returns had been nominated in Costume Design, Production Design and Original Music. Unfortunately, the film came away trophy-less. We'll have to wait and see when the big night arrives in two weeks it fares any better, but considering it was a British film, I think BAFTA was its best chances at receiving some bling.

Not surprisingly, The Favourite came away with a haul, including Olivia Colman for Lead Actress and Rachel Weisz for Supporting. It might worry a few Glenn Close fans to see Colman take this one, but again, in a British film, I'm not particularly surprised. As I've said before, I'd love to see Close win the Oscar, but Colman was fantastic in her role and while I'd be disappointed for Close, a Colman win would be the next best thing. At this point, I don't see how Rami Malek loses the Oscar for Lead Actor, having swept the Globe, SAG and BAFTA.

Roma took the top prize, along with its director Alfonso Cuarón. The full list of winners can be found here.