Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Film review: "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006)

Ok, I have to qualify the fact that Sophie's Choice is my favorite Meryl movie. The overall performance is amazing enough, for me, to make it my favorite. That said, Meryl's turn as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada is probably the role I've technically watched the most. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Lauren Weisberger, recounting her days as a peon assistant to the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour. The magazine's name is changed to "Runway" for the film, and we follow poor, hapless (and icky-clothed) Andrea Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, as she attempts to keep her head above water in this skinny bitch-eat-skinny bitch world of high fashion. Btw, Miranda refers to Andy as the "smart, fat girl." She's a size 6.

I absolutely love this film for several reasons. First and foremost, it's extremely quotable. Rare is the day that my bf and/or roomie don't roll our eyes at each other and say, "by all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me." As always, Meryl's performance is impeccable. I have to say, it's a role unlike any other she's ever played. Now, of course she's known for choosing very diverse roles, blah blah blah, but in this film we're sans accent, and Meryl's character is a very modern, ball-busting executive. And, the clothes she got to wear?! Don't even get me started. In her Golden Globe acceptance speech she described wardrobe as special effects for this film. I would add that it was almost like a beautiful, uncredited character. I'm such a homo. Check out this clip that includes a fun insight into the business:

It's interesting in this movie how Meryl chooses to make herself seem so inaccessible and in control. My favorite thing is that she never raises her voice, almost speaking extra softly. We tend to think of high-powered execs as loud and in your face. Instead, Meryl's choice for Miranda forces people to shut the hell up when she's talking or you won't be able to hear her. I've had elementary school teachers who've employed this trick with success.

Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci play fantastic supporting roles in the film, particularly Blunt in my opinion. She delivers some great one-liners like "oh I'm sorry do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?" Cracks my shit up. It's overall a comedy/dramedy I guess, but there really are some great acting moments. Meryl manages to get us afraid of her, only to turn right around and somehow make us feel sorry for her when she reveals her husband's divorce wishes. Not many people can negotiate those tricky nuances so convincingly. Oh who am I kidding, no one comes close.

Meryl received her 14th Academy Award nomination for the role (breaking her own record). Duh.


  1. thank's for the review jeff....i loved reading it...and for me too this is the movie i probabely watched the most.