Saturday, December 26, 2015

Will Meryl star in a 2015 Black List script?

Hope everyone had a great Christmas (I mean this in the most secular way possible)!  Almost two weeks ago now, Hollywood revealed its annual "Black List" of top unproduced screenplays.  I typically enjoy scrolling down the list to see if there are any that could possibly involve Meryl.  It quickly gets a bit disheartening, as not only do very few films center around women, but even fewer around women over 50.  A couple of scripts caught my eye this year, however, with one in particular that I'm going to obsess over until it's announced that Meryl is starring.

Just for context, the script with the highest number of "mentions" received 44.  At 31, we see Miss Sloane.  I previously discussed this script in September when it was purchased at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Depicting a lobbyist fighting for stricter gun control, I continue to wonder if this is different from The Senator's Wife.  

Next, at 16 mentions is Do No Harm (not to be confused with ...First Do No Harm of course).  Said to be about a surgeon whose life "takes a dangerous turn when she indulges in an affair with a doctor whose god complex challenges her own."  It doesn't sound particularly interesting, but it seems possible that Meryl would fit the demographic.  Albeit I picture execs likely wanting to feature a younger, "hotter" actress if much of the film would focus on the affair.

At 14, we find Cut and Run, about a "female urologist and retired hooker who form an unlikely friendship when they team up to take down a notorious sex trafficker in Miami."  Again, appears that it technically could include Meryl, although it reads like it could be more of an action flick?  It could possibly be a social commentary film, bringing attention/awareness to forced prostitution in the U.S.  

Lastly, at 13 mentions and by far most intriguing to me, was Nyad.  Written by Robert Specland, it is "based on the true story of marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who in 2013, after 4 failed attempts and at the age of 64, became the first person ever to open-swim from Cuba to Florida (55 hours non-stop) overcoming impossible odds, personal tragedy, and 103 miles of open ocean."

I had never heard of Nyad, but quickly began my research.  All the info I needed was best captured in the documentary I watched about her experience entitled The Other Shore.

Ok, on paper this role would seem to tick so many boxes for Meryl: biopic, age 64, physical transformation, intense personality, lesbian who (allegedly) suffered abuse at hands of both her Greek-Egyptian stepfather (Diana does a great accent of him in doc) and Hall of Fame swim coach Jack Nelson.  

I've read in interviews that Meryl swims for exercise.  I don't know if she continues to do so, but if I hadn't known that, I wouldn't have connected the possibility of her portraying this woman.  Not having read the script, I of course don't know how much of it takes place in the water, but I imagine quite a bit.  No doubt the filming would be physically grueling.  Meryl is no stranger to strenuous physical work in preparation for roles (The River Wild) and I wonder if it would take on extra significance were she to undergo it in her 60's rather than her 40's.  If the movie were to be made with Meryl, I expect it would have to be picked up this year with a filming schedule no later than summer 2017, incidentally when Meryl would turn 68.  Such a timeline would also allow for her to film The Good House later this year.

At first I thought Nyad may be too much of a stretch, but the more I think about it, and as I write this post, it seems at least possible, if not plausible.  Can you not totally picture Jodi Foster signing on to produce/direct or even star (as Nyad's trainer Bonnie Stoll)?!  Regardless of your interest in this project, I highly recommend viewing The Other Shore, which can be rented on Itunes.  Excited to hear people's thoughts on the documentary as well as Meryl's conceivable participation in a feature film.

Bonnie Stoll (left) and Diana Nyad (right)

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Suffragette" earns seven awards from Women Film Critics Circle

A few days ago, the Women Film Critics Circle announced their 2015 awards.  Not surprisingly, they heavily favored Suffragette, handing out recognition in seven categories:

Best Movie about Women
Best Movie by a Woman
Best Actress (Carey Mulligan)
Best Female Images in a Movie
Best Ensemble (go Meryl!)
Courage in Filmmaking (Sarah Gavron)
Karen Morley Award (a film that best exemplifies a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity)

Unfortunately, this is essentially the only recognition this film has garnered among critics, and the Women Film Critics Circle should be a slam dunk anyway.  Regardless, I'm a fan of the film and wager that Meryl is very happy that she was a part of it.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

When will "Florence Foster Jenkins" be released?

In the four+ years I've been writing this blog, we may currently be in the most quiet time for Streep film news we've ever had.  Despite two movies released in the last four months, it's mid December and few are talking about her.  A little over a year ago, I thought that the 2015-16 awards season could be one of the most prominent in Meryl's career.  Recognition for Ricki and the Flash and Master Class (had the latter been made and released in 2015) seemed assured.  Maybe they were even going release Florence Foster Jenkins by year's end.  Three Golden Globe nods?!  

Alas, Ricki underperformed and Suffragette, while a decent film, has seemingly passed quietly into the shadows.  2016 holds possibility with Florence Foster Jenkins.  The film, directed by Stephen Frears, who led Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Judi Dench (Philomena) to raves in recent years, has no official release date.  IMDb lists it being released in the Netherlands August 31 and in Germany November 26.  If the former is correct, it will have to be released in the U.S. sometime in August. If the latter is correct (which seems more likely) I imagine we should expect it in the U.S. in October or November.  Recently Streep's films, if a bit lighter in tone, have done fairly well with late summer releases.  From what I understand, Florence will be mostly dramatic with some comedic elements.  It could go either way: late summer release, or more Oscar-typical mid to late fall.  

I'm looking forward to getting some confirmation on when we can expect it, as well as Meryl's next solidified project.  Everyone and their mother knows I want it to be The Good House.  Still hopin'.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

No Golden Globe nod for Meryl

I'm not going to call it a "snub" because looking at the list of nominees, it was going to be a difficult year for Meryl to get in.  When I learned of the results this morning, I was honestly a little surprised that she didn't get's usually a slam dunk, particularly at the Globes in this category.  Her role in Ricki and the Flash seemed tailor-made for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Musical/Comedy Category.  Streep actually had pretty decent reviews for her work, but with the high expectations from both director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Diablo Cody, the tepid quality of the picture sealed Meryl's fate.

Here are the nominees for Actress in a Musical/Comedy:

1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)--probably not a comedy, but we've covered this already.
2. Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
3. Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
4. Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van)
5. Lily Tomlin (Grandma)

I'm sure Meryl is  thrilled for her friend Lily Tomlin.  I'm personally happy for both Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer, as both of those ladies crack me up.  As a fan of Downton Abbey, I'm looking forward to seeing Dame Maggie in her film.

On the bright side, Meryl sitting a year out will improve  her chances for recognition next year in Florence Foster Jenkins, especially since it already seems like that film, although mostly dramatic, will have some comedic elements and will likely end up in the Musical/Comedy category.  Hoping she challenges for the win. 

The full list of nominees can be seen here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

New biography of Streep arriving in spring 2016

Broadway World is reporting that a new biography of Meryl Streep will be released on April 26, 2016.  Entitled Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, it is written by Michael Schulman, a contributor to  both the New Yorker and New York Times.  The book will feature Streep in her very early years as she ascends to stardom in the New York theater circle.  It appears that particular focus will be placed on Meryl's development of her craft and family against the backdrop of "feminism, marriage, love and sacrifice."

Of course I'll be purchasing a copy and reading this as soon humanly possible.  Most, if not all books I've read on Meryl have contained multiple inaccuracies.  I'm hopeful that Mr. Schulman has indeed done his research.  I'm always interested to get new insight into Meryl's work and motivations near the beginning of her career.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Will Meryl be nominated for Golden Globe Award?

As the most nominated actor in Globes history, Streep will be seeking her 30th nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association next week.  Normally, a nod is a foregone conclusion.  With the tepid critical and box office responses to August's Ricki and the Flash, however, Meryl's almost automatic nomination could be in jeopardy this year.

Up to this point, I've only seen Meryl's performance and one other that is likely in contention, Amy Schumer in Trainwreck.  According to the "experts" at Gold Derby, the current odds for Actress in a Musical or Comedy are as follows:

1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) 14/5 odds
2. Lily Tomlin (Grandma) 3/1
3. Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) 4/1
4. Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) 10/1
5. Blythe Danner (I'll See You in My Dreams) 18/1
6. Melissa McCarthy (Spy) 18/1
7. Meryl Streep (Ricki and the Flash) 20/1
8. Sandra Bullock (Our Brand is Crisis) 25/1

After the top eight, all contenders as given 100/1 odds.

Ok, a few thoughts.  At the top of the list, we have Jennifer Lawrence, who has been regularly in award conversations for almost five consecutive years now.  And Joy's positioning is highly likely category fraud.  I'm not even going to get into it, because the occurrence is perennial and widely known.  For crying out loud, even The Martian is competing in the Musical/Comedy category this year.  We just have to deal with it.  

I enjoy that the majority of actresses in this category are over the age of 40.  In the top eight, four are over 65, two over 45.  Schumer is 34 and Lawrence, the front-runner, is 25.

Meryl is totally on the bubble for a nomination in my opinion.  I cannot imagine that Sandra Bullock will get in for a film that made back only quarter of its budget and is only at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes.  But I have a hard time figuring out whom among the top five could be replaced.  Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer are locks in my opinion.  Do they dare not recognize Tomlin, Danner and Smith?  Three women of a generation that is increasingly less visible in cinemas of leading ladies.  I suppose the same could be said for Meryl, but come on.

The only path I can foresee for Meryl's name to be mentioned next Thursday is that voting members of the HFPA want to ensure higher viewership for their telecast.  Meryl's absence in a year where she has a film in contention may seem bizarre to filmgoers.  Fingers crossed.

The Golden Globe Awards will be announced December 10.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Ricki and the Flash" released to home video

Ricki and the Flash is now available for purchase on DVD, Blu-ray and HD download.  Of course I purchased it on ITunes and last night I watched the special features, which is the best part of movies released to video.  There's a brief 'making of' feature with commentary from Meryl and director Jonathan Demme.  It was also fun to see Audra McDonald applaud Meryl's performance saying "of course she's believable as a rock star.  She's believable in every role she's in!"

I won't spoil the rest so you'll have to get a copy yourself.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

"Africa" film back on track?

Before getting into the news, let's just remember that Meryl was barely even mentioned as attached to this project when I first learned of it back in March.  However, I've been intrigued by its possibility since the announcement.  Not so much for the role Meryl would play, more for the conservationist ideas against the backdrop of the African continent.

Not long after this first being brought to my attention, I reported that the film had been essentially scrapped.  Now, several articles are swirling around with quotes from the story's real-life main character, paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, saying that it's definitely going to be made.  In Kenya, no less.  It's also reported that Leakey (set to be played by Brad Pitt) has asked would-be director Angelina Jolie to "tone down" the violence and sex in the film.

If all this is true, and the Kenyan government is really getting behind it to possibly help with funding, would this get rolling in 2016?  By the slim chance Meryl actually were involved, her rumored role would be that of Leakey's mother, Mary.  I can actually see Meryl being interested in promoting something like this, bringing awareness to the awful ongoing poaching of elephants in east Africa.

I'm certainly not holding my breath, but even if Meryl gets nowhere near this, I'd still like to see the film come together.   We'll have to see if there's more confirmation from either Jolie or Pitt's reps.  As this goes to post, the film is no longer listed on either's IMDb pro page.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Film review: "Suffragette" (2015)

After a couple of weeks, I finally got around to seeing this film today.  Having attended a wedding last night, Joe and I headed home from Sioux Falls this morning and I made it to a 1:10 showing at a nearby cinema.

I have to admit that I wasn't particularly anxious to see this movie.  Meryl's in it a for just a few minutes, it's getting only decent reviews and there's been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the nature of the film's social concerns.  It's difficult not to have one's opinion of a film influenced by these potential biases.  Regardless, I did my best to maintain an open mind.  

The film follows a young woman named Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) as she finds herself increasingly drawn into and involved in the women's suffrage movement that peaked in the second decade of 20th century London.  As her involvement gets her into trouble with the law, Maud finds herself shunned by her husband, neighbors and coworkers, ultimately being prohibited from contact with her own son, George.  Her husband Sonny informs her that in her absence, he is incapable of raising their son and has chosen to give him up for adoption.  Maud becomes more deeply involved in the suffragette cause, taking greater risks in her attempts to make their cause known, culminating in the death of her ally, Emily Davison. 

Meryl has about four minutes of screen time halfway through the picture.  I had already seen the entirety of her performance via preview clips, nevertheless it was still enjoyable to see her performance in the context of the entire story.

Although there was some questionable camera work (strange close-ups) and the pacing seemed a bit hectic at times, I found myself rather moved by the story.  In particular, Carey Mulligan was very effective at portraying a woman who was essentially desperate.  Desperate to imagine herself doing something with her life beyond working in a laundry sweatshop.  Mulligan made me feel her sense of helplessness, presenting a broader understanding of what it must have been like for countless women of her position at that time.  I found it to be a very effective and memorable performance.  Strong supporting performances by Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff and Brendan Gleason all add weight to the film's heavy subject matter.

I don't want to get too deep into some of the controversy surrounding the fact that this film depicts the plight of white women only.  The beef isn't without merit, but I hope people consider the nature of the era this film aims to depict.  Circa 1915 London, I'm not sure how many women of color were on the front lines of the specific struggle of the women presented in this movie.  If we look at pictures and film reels of protests from the time, I think we'll find the historical figures involved accurately represented in Suffragette.  

This isn't to say that a film addressing the wider landscape of voting equality wouldn't be an admirable endeavor.  Particularly in the United States, where the women's suffrage movement often had a contentious relationship with the black suffrage movement, it would be interesting to see how a film would negotiate the historical delicacies that today many might consider ironically oppressive.  Meryl and Kathy Bates better get crackin' on that Susan B. Anthony/Elizabeth Cady Stanton vehicle.

Regardless of the film's criticisms and thus far tepid box office returns, Suffragette, like any film which attempts to bring attention to the struggle of a subjugated population, is definitely a picture worth seeing and appreciating.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Academy Awards analysis (2006)

By the time The Devil Wears Prada was released, we had experienced the longest span between Lead Actress nominations of Meryl's career.  The five-year break between Postcards from the Edge (1990) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995) was the greatest gap in nominations, but I was surprised when I considered that in 2006 it had been seven years since being nominated for a lead role.  Yes, there are many who consider Miranda Priestly a supporting character in the film, but the vast majority of Streep's multiple nominations from that year were indeed in the category of lead.

This film also marked an important turning point in the history of Meryl's career.  Possibly for the first time in her 30 years on screen, she became bankable.  The wonderful performance in cinemas brought Meryl into great demand for a handful of roles that may never had seen the light of day had Prada not been such a hit.  Within three years of this film's release, the success of Mama Mia!, Julie & Julia and It's Complicated solidified Streep's status as a bonafide, if not unexpected, box office draw at the age of 60.

Despite Prada's success, another actor's work the same year completely outshone the others.  Helen Mirren's  performance as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears' The Queen ultimately became one of the most dominant on the awards circuit in history.  Doing a quick check, a non-exhaustive list of Mirren's wins that year include the following:

Academy Award
Screen Actros Guild Award
Golden Globe (drama)
Critics' Choice Award
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics
Los Angeles Film Critics

It's possibly the biggest slam dunk of the 2000's for lead role.   Many consider Meryl to have been a distant second in the Oscar race that year, with the rest of the crew considered also-rans.  The full list of nominees that year is as follows:

Penélope Cruz (Volver)
Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)

I've seen all but Cruz's performance, with my personal favorite (aside from Meryl) being Dench in Notes on a Scandal. In any half a dozen other years before or after 2006, Dench would've been very difficult to top in my opinion.  Great year for women's roles. Incidentally, this was Meryl's 10th consecutive loss at the Academy Awards.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Accents Mastered updated

Ok, I know this is sort of a lame post, but I realized I have not added Meryl's role as Emmeline Pankhurst to the "accents mastered" tab on the blog.  The updated list should therefore be:

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)--Tennessean
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)--British (specifically Received Pronunciation)
Sophie's Choice (1982)--Polish (in English and German)
Silkwood (1983)--Texan
Plenty (1985)--British
Out of Africa (1985)--Danish
Ironweed (1987)--Irish-American
A Cry in the Dark (1988)--New Zealand (with strong layers of Australian)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)--Italian (Meryl calls it Iowatalian)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)--Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (Received Pronunciation)
August: Osage County (2013)--Oklahoman
The Homesman (2014)--Central Plains Midwestern
Suffragette (2015)--British (Received Pronunciation)

As this goes to post, Suffragette is sitting at a respectable 73% on Rotten Tomatoes with 118 reviews counted.  The film is being released in several additional U.S. cities this weekend, including Minneapolis (although at a single theater).  I usually attend Meryl openings with Scooter but he had to make a crucial work-related sacrifice and give a speech in Hawaii this weekend, so I'm not positive when I'll get around to catching it.  I've already seen the entirety of Meryl's performance in preview clips, and although the film no doubt includes important societal messages, for whatever reason I'm not super anxious about seeing it immediately.  If it were a performance that lasted longer than three minutes, I'd be singing a different tune.  Still interested to hear what everyone else who's seen the movie has to say.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

"The Good House" still in development?

As I mentioned I would yesterday, I'd like to comment on an article from Screen Daily that came out a couple days ago that mentions The Good House.  If you scroll down toward its end, you see they write that "Glen Basner's New York outfit is in development of The Good House, set to star Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro."

I concede that this is barely a mention, but the fact that it's being mentioned at all sparks ongoing questions about the film's possible production. Things haven't been looking good for this picture.  It's been about 27 months since it was first revealed that the book was going to be made into a film starring Streep and De Niro.  We all know that between then and now, Meryl joined Suffragette, Ricki and the Flash, Master Class and Florence Foster Jenkins.  All but one of these have come to fruition, but we also understand the special circumstances which prevented Master Class from getting made, namely the unexpected death of its director, Mike Nichols.

I maintain that The Good House still has life.  We know that Michael Cunningham was working on adapting Ann Leary's novel as early as June 2013.  After Roadshow announced in December last year that it had acquired a 33% stake in FillmNation, The Good House, along with The Founder, were the two films listed as funded for production.  We know The Founder has wrapped and will be released next fall.  If people think the delay on The Good House is the script being too difficult to adapt, I just can't imagine Cunningham didn't have enough already complete and satisfactory for producers to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down by as late as last year.  It may have gone through a few permutations, and they may still be fine-tuning it, but it seems reasonable to me that the "powers that be" still want it made.

Now we need a director.  We also need the two main stars to have open schedules.  If Meryl wanted an extended break after Florence, and there are still a few things they're working out in the script, it seems like the perfect opportunity to not rush the process and perhaps begin filming late 2015 or any time in 2016.  I know we get anxious without any definite film projects for Meryl, but we know more will come.  Even if she decided to take all of 2016 off from filming, we'd still likely only have a single calendar year where she didn't have a film out.  That's certainly not unheard of and it seems particularly unreasonable to attribute a furlough of this length to anything other than Streep's own wishes for a break.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Streep honored with Britannia Award

Streep was on hand last night in Los Angeles to be honored with the Stanley Kubrick Award for excellence in film by BAFTA Los Angeles.  Introduced by director Stephen Frears, who earlier this year directed her in the upcoming Florence Foster Jenkins, Meryl ironically sported a lovely tuxedo as the first woman to be recognized with the award.  


The event was also attended by the great Amy Schumer, on hand to accept the Charlie Chaplin Award for comedy.  Schumer thanked "God" saying "by God, I mean Meryl Streep."  If there were any possibility of Meryl in fact being in consideration to portray Amy's mom in the upcoming Jonathan Levine comedy, there seems to have certainly been ample opportunity to network.  IMDb Pro now has that film slated for a 2017 release, which of course suggests a 2016 filming start.  Meryl's schedule seems to be rather barren in the upcoming months as far as film production goes.  A couple days ago I came across info that suggests one of her "in development" projects may still have life.  More on that tomorrow.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ryan Murphy wants to work with Meryl

Happened upon this today.  Over the weekend at the Entertainment Weekly Fest, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy was asked whom he'd like to work with.  See his response below:

Earlier this year I learned that it was indeed Murphy who was going to produce and/or direct Meryl in Dirty Tricks, an adaptation of the play about Martha Mitchell back around 2007.  I've also made it known that I'd think it a coup if he were able to team Meryl with Susan Sarandon in the 'making of' Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? project that HBO declined to produce when Murphy pitched Sarandon and Jessica Lange in the lead roles.

It's just fun to hear filmmakers reveal their interest in working with Streep.  Any connection to projects that I want to see Meryl do is worth my time so couldn't resist posting about this.

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Suffragette" arrives stateside

Being that Meryl attended the L.A. premiere of Suffragette earlier this week, I was under the impression that the film was set for wide release today.  Turns out it's only in New York and L.A.  Ugh, I wish there were one website that would clearly and accurately list both a film's limited and wide release.  IMDb isn't always reliable in this area.  Oh well.  I wasn't going to be able to see it this weekend regardless, so I'm ok waiting another week for it to arrive in the Twin Cities.  

One nice thing however is that we're getting numerous reviews pouring in.  As I write this post, the film currently stands at a very respectable 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a total of 65 reviews.  I'm expecting around one hundred more.  Early receipts in the U.K. were particularly favorable over the past week as well, with the film grossing over $4 million in previews alone.  

Of course I'm very much looking forward to seeing the film, and not only for Meryl's brief appearance.  I'd love to hear people's thoughts if you're already had a chance to see the film.  


Monday, October 19, 2015

Amy Schumer mother-daughter project moves forward

Well, it's far from having Meryl confirmed, but hypothesizing on Streep's future projects is possibly my favorite pastime.  As early as July, Meryl's name was mentioned as 'in consideration' to portray Amy Schumer's mother in a new comedy.  The details of the plot have been kept under wraps, but as far as I understand, it roughly follows a mother-daughter duo while on a vacation in Brazil.

At the time I first posted about this, there was not even a director attached.  Since then however, Jonathan Levine has been circling the project.  Today, he was "locked" as director.  Earlier reports had indicated that producers were hoping to begin filming before the end of the year.

Here's where I get a little too inventive.  I'm not sure how many people saw my fairly recent comments on how fun I think it would be if Meryl were not only involved in this project, but that she played Schumer's mother as a Brazilian ex-patriot.  What a perfect opportunity to play a legit Latina!  I may illicit a few furrowed brows with this suggestion, but let me remind you that Brazil houses millions of native whites, so it wouldn't be a major stretch for Meryl to portray a Portuguese-accented mom. I thought it'd be a fun arc in the story, and it may make the part a bit more enticing to Ms. Streep.

I realize this is far-fetched...even for me.  Laugh only when I'm confirmed wrong.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Streep pushes "India's Daughter" for Oscar

Meryl attended the official U.S. premiere of India's Daughter in New York City last night, suggesting it deserves to win an Academy Award.  Streep praised director Leslee Udwin saying "I'm on the campaign to get her nominated for Best Documentary."  The film had previously been privately screened this spring, where Meryl joined Freida Pinto in support.

The sobering film details the brutal 2012 gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a physiotherapy student in Dehli.  I felt compelled to post about this film several months ago after after finding a link on YouTube before the Indian Government had it removed.  If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking an hour out of your day to watch.

Brava, Meryl.

Gloria Steinem, Meryl Streep & director Leslee Udwin

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Streep named Jury President for Berlin Film Festival

Variety is reporting that Meryl will serve as the jury president at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.  This marks the first time Streep has been on a film festival panel.  Among her duties, she will involved in deciding, with others on the jury, which awards will be allocated to which films.

It's fun to see Meryl getting her hands a bit dirty in other aspects of film over the past few years.  She's conducted her first master class, funded a women's screenwriting lab and now this.  Certainly keeping busy.  I look forward to her involvement in this latest endeavor.

The Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 11-21, 2016.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Suffragette" premieres at London Film Festival

Meryl attended the U.K. premiere of Suffragette at the London Film Festival today.

Alongside co-stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Marie-Marie Duff, Meryl's looking sharp in a royal blue ensemble.

It's no secret that there has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding certain comments Meryl has made over the past week.  I'm hesitant to give much credence to the hyperbolic accusations and interpretations of Streep's quotes, so suffice it to say, she responded to criticism in an interview today saying,

There is a phrase in the film- 'deeds not words'-and that is where I stand on that. I let the actions of my life stand for what I am, as a human being. Contend with that, not the words. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Streep to team with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on new project?

Earlier this year, Meryl sat on a discussion panel at the Women in the World Summit in New York, alongside director Ava DuVernay and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.  Today, Obaid-Chinoy posted a comment on her own Facebook page, indicating she's going to be involved with Meryl on a new project:

Of course I had to look up Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  Turns out he was a Pakistani poet and left-wing intellectual who was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature four times.  

The real question is "what's the project?"  When I first saw the title of the article in my news feed, I didn't immediately recognize Obaid-Chinoy's name.  It seemed vaguely Indian to me so of course my weird brain went straight to thinking Meryl is finally going to portray Indira Gandhi.  What is more likely is that Obaid-Chinoy, herself Pakistani, is going to be making a documentary feature about Faiz and Meryl has agreed to narrate it.  Looking forward to learning more about the viability of this project.  Stay tuned.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New clip of Streep in "Suffragette"

A few days ago, a new clip was released from Suffragette, showing a bit of Meryl's only scene:

The film is set to be screened at the London Film Festival next week.  Looking forward to getting more reactions to this.  So far we have only 13 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with the film starting out at 69% "fresh."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New clip and character posters from "Suffragette"

With the U.K. premiere of Suffragette just around the corner, we're getting a nice crop of promotional pieces each week.  Today, a new clip and five character posters were revealed on Indiewire.  I'm not able to embed the video so check it out on the site link.  Just a brief interaction between Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter.

I am, however, able to include the new poster of Meryl:


All five new posters can be seen on the link.  The film hits U.S. theaters on October 23.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

"Ricki and the Flash" coming to video November 24

The always reliable Akron Beacon Journal (?) is reporting that Ricki and the Flash will be released to Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD on November 24.   I think I had posted previously that we were expecting November for this so I'm not particularly surprised by the date.  The film is currently still playing in a handful of theaters, and as this goes to print has grossed just short of $27 million at the domestic box office.  With a budget of $18 million, it's by no means a huge success, but at the same time not a flop.  Add another $11 million in foreign markets and assuming there wasn't a boat load spent on international advertising, it's not half bad.

Looking forward to getting my own copy!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

B roll from "Suffragette"

Yesterday I noticed that some B roll has been released for the filming of Suffragette.  There's a bit of Meryl around the 6:00 mark.

Not particularly spectacular, but a good reminder that the film will be in cinemas in just a couple of weeks!  Do we dare speculate on the possibility of awards potential for Meryl's small, but meaningful role?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Streep to join Carey Mulligan on Graham Norton Show

For the second time this year, Meryl will sit on Graham Norton's sofa.  In January it was to promote Into the Woods. On Oct 9, it will be to promote Suffragette. Nicole Kidman will also be a guest.  Not that this is incredibly exciting news, but I think The Graham Norton Show is absolutely hilarious, and it'll be great to hear Meryl discuss the film.  I think she's going to do A LOT of press for this pic.

I'll leave you with a fun clip from Streep's appearance earlier this year:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First clip from "Suffragette"

We have our first clip from Suffragette, and although it doesn't involve Meryl, it's a great look at Carey Mulligan:

Can you not totally see this as her Oscar clip?  Mulligan is getting great reviews thus far.  I'm really hoping this film does very well with both critics and in cinemas.  If it's successful, it may open the door to the possibility of Meryl eventually portraying Susan B. Anthony on screen.

I kind of forgot how soon we'll be able to view this!  For a nice change, those of you in the U.K. will get to see it before we Yanks do.  It opens October 12 in the U.K. and the 23rd here in the states.  Getting excited for it.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Florence Foster Jenkins" acquired by Paramount

Among other sources, Deadline is reporting that Paramount Pictures has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Meryl's recently completed film Florence Foster Jenkins.  The shopping grounds were in full swing at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, where a portion of the picture was screened last night for potential buyers.  No word on how much was forked over in the deal.  Apparently it was one of the hottest prospects at the festival.  Directed by the great Stephen Frears, Hugh Grant also stars.  Paramount has not announced exactly when it plans to release the film in cinemas in the U.S., but 2016 seems likely.

Sort of related, also purchased at TIIF this weekend was the movie Miss Sloane, set to be funded by EuropaCorp and ready for production in 2016.  I'm including info on this because the film, to star Jessica Chastain, is evidently about a lobbyist pushing for stricter gun control laws.  This description sounds very similar to a film Harvey Weinstein claimed he wanted to make with Meryl last year entitled The Senator's Wife.  I have been unable to find any info on whether or not this is the same script or completely unrelated.  Regardless, if Miss Sloane ultimately comes to fruition, I don't imagine Meryl being involved in a project that so closely resembles it anytime soon.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

New U.K. trailer for "Suffragette"

Just as Suffragette has been given its world premiere this weekend in Telluride, a new U.K. trailer has been launched:

Inspiring scenes and music.  Some good screen time for Meryl, considering her part is not much more than a few minutes.  With the mostly positive reactions thus far, I am very much looking forward to this picture.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

"Suffragette" premieres to acclaim in Telluride

Meryl Streep received a standing ovation last night introducing Suffragette in its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.  Almost immediately after the screening, the online universe was of course inundated with Twitter reactions.  I'll attempt to summarize what the majority of audience members are saying.

Suffice it to say that the reactions have been very positive.  Many kudos for director Sarah Gavron's work as well as for the remarkable cast.  Carey Mulligan is repeatedly singled out as best in show, which bodes well for awards recognition.  It's confirmed that Meryl has a very brief, albeit exciting, role.

I hope these early reactions become a consensus when the film opens worldwide later this fall.  The subject matter is an important period in history and good word-of-mouth will no doubt get more butts in the seats.  Below I've linked official reviews/opinions from a few reputable sources.

The Hollywood Reporter
The Telegraph
Thompson on Hollywood
Awards Daily

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Streep to be in attendance for world premiere of "Suffragette" in Telluride

The Guardian is reporting that Suffragette will premiere at the Telluride Film Festival tomorrow, September 4.  In addition, Meryl will be on hand to introduce the film with director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan.  When I saw the article this morning I thought maybe I totally spaced on this debuting in Telluride, but I think this is actually news, as the Festival schedule was just released today.

Very excited to hear some reactions to the film!  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Christina Applegate Lifetime movie spoof

This was fun.  Funny or Die has featured Christina Applegate in a mock trailer for a Lifetime movie entitled 'Meryl.'

I particularly enjoyed the trouble she had with the crucifix in the scene from Doubt and her cat-like soprano in Mama Mia!  I always enjoy references to Meryl, even if it's silly.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Release date set for "Florence Foster Jenkins"?

I've had a couple comments about this on the blog and happened to notice it myself earlier today but am just now getting around to posting.  IMDb is currently listing a release date (in Germany) for Florence Foster Jenkins: November 24, 2016.  Thanksgiving Day.  If that turns out to be true, I imagine a U.S release sometime shortly before that date.  We could probably expect a festival release in early fall as well.  November would no doubt set it up nicely for awards consideration.  Like many others, I've been getting the impression that the film will be a bit lighter in tone, therefore expecting a possible late summer release, similar to Ricki and the Flash.  This news suggests otherwise.

We are currently in a filming lull for Meryl, with no definitive projects set for production.  The closest possibility is likely The Good House, but as I've discussed ad nauseam, we don't even have a director attached.  Meryl's name was also recently brought up as a possibility for joining Amy Schumer in her mother-daughter comedy, but I wager that's a long shot.

It's quite possible that Meryl just wants to take several months off from prepping a role or filming.  How dare she?!  I'm greedy though, so of course prefer that she has at least one film released each calendar year.   At the very least this break provides some fun speculation of what may come next.  Regardless, it's of course difficult to remain patient.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Full trailer for "Shout Gladi Gladi"

The upcoming documentary Shout Gladi Gladi, narrated by you-know-who, saw its first full-length trailer released last week:

Named for the celebration that occurs when women are cured from obstetric fistula (an injury sustained during child delivery), the film covers the frightening lack of adequate maternal healthcare available to most women in Africa.

Meryl once again lending her voice talents to an important cause.  Shout Gladi Gladi will be released in the U.S the first week of October.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Streep to be recognized by BAFTA-LA

What the hell is BAFTA-LA?!  Well, apparently the British Academy of Film and Television Arts-Los Angeles is a thing.  And they're awarding Meryl a sort of lifetime achievement award, specifically the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in film.  The event is to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 30 in Los Angeles.  I'm not sure if it'll be televised or lives streamed, but rest assured that I'll be tuning in however possible.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Update on "Ricki" performance and other tidbits

Eleven days into its release, Ricki and the Flash has earned about $15 million at the box office.  With a budget of around $18 million, it's clear that it will go beyond that, but probably not by a ton.  This is perhaps a bit disappointing considering some of Meryl's more recent summer releases, but these days Sony isn't exactly known for their marketing prowess.  A "fresh" rating of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes can't be fully to blame for somewhat tepid returns, although Cinemascore has Ricki's performance listed as a "B."

Unrelated, a couple nights ago I came across something related to the PBS documentary Caring for Mom & Dad that Meryl narrated back in May.  I had sort of forgotten about this to the point that I thought it hadn't even been released yet.  The program is only about an hour long but very much worth watching.  It's not so much that Meryl does a good job at voice-over, but more the attention it brings to the serious topic of the ever-ageing U.S. population.  As a health-care provider, I was very taken by the stories of the families (a couple of which were near Minneapolis) struggling to scrape by caring for their parents in old age.  It reinforced for me how imperative it will be for our country to continue developing a sustainable means of affordable healthcare (ssshhh, single-payer!) as well as the necessary changes employers will have to adopt in order to maintain a thriving business in 21st century America.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Four years of Word on the Streep!

Today is the fourth anniversary of my first post on Word on the Streep.  It's kind of funny going back to read my thoughts and style on that inaugural entry.  Some things feel very different, others the same.  For the first time I can thank my husband Joe for setting up this blog for me as a birthday present in 2011.  My exhilaration in following Meryl Streep's work has certainly been steadfast and no doubt heightened over the past four years, and this site provides the perfect outlet for my obsession thoughts.  She continues to thrill me with each new role and I very much look forward to new surprises.

To any and all readers:  THANK YOU.  I've noticed a bit of a surge in the last six months in viewership on this blog.  I'm not exactly sure why, but am thrilled regardless.  Comments, thoughts and questions continue to be a wonderful motivation to not only write posts, but to do it thoughtfully, fairly and hopefully with consistency and integrity.  I am grateful for and relish the opportunity.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Film review: "Ricki and the Flash" (2015)

Over the past two weeks my expectations for the "performance" of Ricki and the Flash have essentially done a figure-eight. For over a year, based on the description of the screenplay, the film's release date and comments from the cast, I assumed this would be a fun summer flick with potential do make a respectable showing at the box office.  The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia and Hope Springs all came to mind as comparable set ups for Ricki.  After the trailer was released a few months ago, my expectations were unchanged, as the film was depicted as relatively lite fare, with a handful of one-liners that bordered on being cheesy.

A bit over a week ago, as a few people who were privy to early screenings of the film began to tweet reactions, it appeared that the underwhelming trailers were somewhat misleading, and that it may in fact turn out to be a halfway decent film.  Borderline raves for Streep, several "the trailers don't do this film justice" comments.  Could this be become a critical and financial success?!

When the review embargo was lifted a few days ago, the brief high of thinking this movie may be a huge deal began to fade.  Although Meryl continued to get praise, the overall tone seemed to be that yes, the trailers didn't give us a good sense of the actual contents of the story, but that its attempt at complex drama succeeded only intermittently, and that director Jonathan Demme couldn't do enough to improve Diablo Cody's uneven, unbalanced screenplay.

Well, I was able to catch a showing of the film a little earlier than expected.  Joe and I are in Clevelend for his Masters Swimming event, and there was a theater near our hotel with a 7:00 show last night.  I'll start by saying my overall reaction to the film is probably the consensus of what we're reading on Rotten Tomatoes; Streep good to great, the film so-so.  While that may be considered a bit of a pattern in recent years with Meryl's movies, I think my reaction is about the same as what I expected before the first trailer.

The film begins showing Meryl as Linda "Ricki" Randazzo playing with her band The Flash in an almost empty bar in California's San Fernando Valley.  We quickly learn through a few of her comments on stage that she is likely not a registered Democrat, something perhaps unexpected but resfreshing from a Streep character.  Shortly thereafter, Ricki receives a call from her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) and learns that her daughter Julie, of course played by Meryl's actual daughter Mamie Gummer, is quite unwell after her husband has left for another woman.  Ricki spends money she doesn't really have to fly out to Indianapolis to be with her daughter.

As she arrives, the family's history begins to peel, and at its core is the event of Ricki's departure decades prior to fulfill her dream to be a rock star in Los Angeles.  Suffice it to say, Pete, Julie and Ricki's two sons are understandably still resentful of her increasingly rare presence in their lives each year.  This is made more clear at an uncomfortable family dinner where Ricki learns her eldest son Josh (played by the dapper Sebastian Stan) hasn't told her about his impending nuptials, nor that he had no intention of inviting her.  True to her conservative views, Ricki also manages to alienate her gay son Adam (Nick Westrate) by not seeming to understand that marriage between two men may actually be important to both him and his friends.

Ricki succeeds at getting Julie pulled together a bit, not without a run-in with Pete's current wife Maureen, played by the luminous Audra McDonald (one of my personal favorite scenes).  Following the scuffle with "Mo", Ricki returns to California with a chip on her shoulder, acknowledging in a bit of a tirade on stage that there is a double standard for men and women who choose to live the life of a "rock star."  This uncharacteristic episode from Ricki brings to a head her relationship with her lead guitarist Greg (Rick Springfield), and the two eventually agree to be "more than friends."

The final chapter of the film sees Ricki and Greg return to Indianapolis, having received an invitation to Josh's wedding as a sort of olive branch from Maureen.  In awkward fashion, Ricki explains in a toast that she has nothing to give but her music, and after a lot of confused and worried looks from the bride, groom and guests, everyone joins the dance floor and surrenders to the music and the moment.

Whew.  That was a lot of exposition.  Ok, I'd overall give the film a B.  Many of the problems reviewers are having I too had with the movie.  I would have preferred to get a bit more background on the events surrounding Ricki leaving her family.  It seemed to jump pretty quickly to her being in Indianapolis, and then before we know it, Maureen is back and Ricki jets back to L.A.  Some of the dialogue is predictable and not necessarily additive.  The overall premise of the story and its characters is smart, but we needed more.  More time, perhaps before Julie seems to no longer be depressed.  More time to see Ricki interact with her sons.  More time observing the almost excruciatingly uncomfortable dynamic between Ricki, Pete and Maureen.

Now to Meryl.  I am no doubt impossibly biased to accurately describe her performance.  She's always stellar to me.  Specifically though, her character of Ricki, the person...kinda sucks.  She's borderline-homophobic and racist, a bit of a leach and left her family to sing in a washed-up bar band all her life.  Sadly immature.  Yet I found myself completely feeling sorry for her.  This is the woman who shouldn't really be getting my sympathy, but when she enters the environment of suburban Indianapolis, with the judgmental glares she receives simply for her clothing, the condescending tone Maureen takes with her every time they speak...I just wanted to give Ricki a hug.  Yes, she's made her choice, but I feel it's possible that her choice was a false one, in that it didn't have to be either-or.  The good or the bad of that I suppose is debatable, it's just the emotion Meryl's performance evoked in me.

I really enjoyed the music.  There were a few times that Meryl seemed a bit stiff with the guitar when comparing her with Rick Spingfield.  Some of her vocals pleasantly surprised me, while others solidified why Ricki never made it beyond the dive bars.  Whether that was by choice from Meryl I suppose we'll never know, but it certainly fit the character.  Springfield was one of my favorite aspects to the film.  His acting was more than acceptable, and he convinced me that his character, while flawed, is a good guy with genuine feelings for Ricki.

This film is absolutely worth seeing.  While at times melodramatic and even a tad cliché, most of us will likely connect with the experience of having some form of family resentment.  Meryl will likely always be the best thing in her films.  If you're already a fan, this performance will simply add to your fondness for her.  Even if you dislike the film, it's impossible to deny her effectiveness at bringing Ricki to bright, believable life.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New poster for "Suffragette"

With the London Film Festival fast approaching, Pathé has released a new poster for Suffragette, which will have its premiere on October 7.


The film will open in wide release in the U.K. on October 12, with a limited release in the U.S. a few weeks later on the 23rd.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Reviews pouring in for "Ricki and the Flash"

The embargo from Sony has been lifted and we're getting several reviews for Ricki and the Flash, which of course opens nationwide on Friday.  At the time of this posting, there are thirteen reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with a "fresh" rating of 69%.  If that holds up this will be a critical hit.  Of course, we can ultimately expect to get well over a hundred reviews, but it's encouraging to see its relatively positive start.

Regardless of the film's overall quality, I have not read a single negative comment about Meryl's performance.  In fact, a few people are praising her as the best part of a good film.  I'll have the opportunity to see it this weekend so hopefully I'll agree with the majority of reactions we've had thus far.  A bit too early to tell if this will gain any awards traction.  Golden Globe nod seems a slam dunk, but it may be more in the realm of Hope Springs when it comes to Oscar.  If Pathé wanted to spice things up, they could speed up the release of Florence Foster Jenkins to December.  Not out of the realm of possibility to have a film that completed shooting in July ready for cinemas five months later...but I doubt it.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Video for "Cold One" released

A music video for the original song "Cold One" from Ricki and the Flash was released today on You Tube:

We get to see a few new scenes from the film.  Several advanced screenings have now taken place and we're getting a handful of Twitter reactions which have all been rather positive.  After the initial trailers, many of us have been wondering if this was going to be a dud.  I'm a little more optimistic about its potential critical appeal now.

Next weeks is a big week; Meryl will be hitting several talk shows to promote Ricki, we'll likely get critical reviews as early as Monday and both the film and soundtrack will be released on Friday. Getting excited for reactions!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shoulda Coulda Wouldas #13: "Daughter of the Queen of Sheba"

As I mentioned in my last post from this section in May, I've been making some mental adjustments to my 'reimagined history' of Streep's screen career.  Having initially felt confident in its inclusions and exclusions, I've begun realizing that the list of projects I would have loved for her to do is a bit more malleable than I had originally expected to consider.  With that in mind, I've selected another film that never actually got made for my newest Shoulda Coulda Woulda.

In 1997, Jacki Lyden, who at the time was a correspondent at NPR, published a memoir about her life growing up in the small town of Menomonee, WI and her relationship with her mentally-ill mother Dolores.  The book, entitled Daughter of the Queen of Sheba, was quickly a critical success, and within a month Meryl was revealed to be attached to play Dolores.  Obviously, the film has never made it to the screen, but after doing some research, I've learned that it came close several times.

Very little happened immediately after the initial announcement until 2001 when Gwyneth Paltrow signed on to portray Jacki.  Matt Williams was attached to direct, and Karen Croner (who penned One True Thing) adapted the screenplay.  Still, nothing moved forward.  Over the next several years, Reese Witherspoon and Amy Adams were both attached to star as well, but again, nothing.  Lyden discussed the difficulties of getting her story to the big screen as recently as 2009 (when Adams was set to portray her), and how she was still pushing to get it made.  Meryl's involvement was likely long forgotten by that point, but the powerful story remains an unfortunate missed opportunity.

I finished the book last week and was repeatedly left shaking my head at how interesting it would have been to see Meryl's interpretation of Dolores in the throes of her debilitating bipolar delusions. She is described as a beautiful, trim redhead, raised with few opportunities to forge her own path.  It reminded me a bit of Violet Weston (again likely borderline supporting), just not as mean.  Can you imagine Meryl at the age of 51 appearing on screen channeling an eccentric Rita Hayworth?  Read this book and you just might.

I would insert this film into 2001 and push Adaptation back to its original year of 2002.  A fall 2000 filming schedule seems reasonable, assuming Meryl would've been cool not having the break she enjoyed in that year.  Most people probably consider her three-year hiatus between movies from '99-'02 as a particularly long absence, but we need to remember that Music of the Heart wrapped in early 1999 and both Adaptation and The Hours were filmed in early 2001.  There were a handful of projects that never came to fruition during that time (Mary Stuart and Sheba notably), so assuming everything had come together within a few years of its announcement, 2001 seems just as good a year as any.  I've also struggled a bit with moving one of Meryl's Academy Award-nominated performance from its original release year (Adaptation), a problem solved by this substitution.

Who knows, maybe Ms. Lyden will still somehow manage to get it made.


Monday, July 27, 2015

New UK trailer for "Ricki and the Flash"

The Telegraph posted a new trailer for Ricki and the Flash this afternoon.  Unfortunately it's the only link I can find and no embed is available to copy and past the full video so the best I can do is provide the link:

First thoughts are that I think this trailer is a tad better than the first.  A bit better cadence with some of the one-liners.  Little time for music again, but I'm hoping the songs will be a helpful word-of-mouth positive when people eventually see the film.  Opens next week!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Meryl rumored to join Amy Schumer in follow up to "Trainwreck"

Multiple sources are reporting that Meryl is on the short list of names mentioned to possibly join Amy Schumer in a mother-daughter comedy.   Schumer, who can currently be seen in theaters starring in Trainwreck, has re-written a script with her sister about a mother and daughter who evidently get kidnapped while vacationing in Brazil.

This is very far from any confirmation of Meryl's participation, obviously.  Variety indicates that if a director signs on they hope to begin filming before the end of the year. As far as we know, Meryl's schedule is open.  However, we know that The Good House has been waiting in the wings for almost two years now.  As recently as February of this year, FilmNation reiterated that the film was set to begin production this year, following The Founder (which is currently filming).  Yes, Meryl mentioned months ago in one interview that she wouldn't be doing anything after Florence Foster Jenkins for a while, but that film has already wrapped and who knows whether she truly wants an extended break.

So what's the likely scenario?  If the untitled Schumer project has a great script, it could be a fantastic opportunity for Meryl to be in yet another box office hit.  I haven't seen Trainwreck, but it's opening weekend was fantastic and the trailer suggests it's hilarious.  Schumer is likewise a riot in interviews.  But if The Good House moves forward (please!) and Meryl stays on, I'm guessing it would happen this fall.  That would give Meryl at least two to three months break after finishing Florence.  

Alas, no director is yet attached to either film.  What if Meryl joins the Schumer pic, films it this fall and has that along with Florence for 2016, and then finally completes The Good House next year?  That could leave The Good House her lone project set for release in 2017, an original character in a potentially very dramatic story.  Streep has done a lot of comedy/lighter fare recently so I'd love to see her with a gripping performance in an outright drama.

As I say often on this blog...time will tell.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

New clip from "Ricki and the Flash"

An extended clip of Meryl playing acoustic guitar and singing an original song from her upcoming film Ricki and the Flash was revealed earlier today:

So great to see and hear some singing!  With the film opening in just two weeks, we're starting to get some pretty regular news on it, with featurettes, clips and even a couple early screening reactions.  Ok, just that one reaction from Kelly Clarkson, but it was good.  We should expect to see Meryl on a few talk shows soon as well to promote the film.  Filming wrapped on Florence Foster Jenkins last week, so she is likely back in the states ready to hit the circuit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New featurette for "Ricki and the Flash"

I came across a featurette this afternoon for Ricki and the Flash.  We get to see a few new clips as well as brief commentary from Meryl, director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Diablo Cody.

The film will see it's world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival exactly two weeks from today and opens nationwide in theaters August 7.  I'm confident it won't make you sour, Katie...even if Meryl doesn't wear a chunky necklace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Ricki" to premiere in Switzerland, new posters for "Suffragette"

Double post.  Deadline is reporting that Ricki and the Flash will have its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on August 5.  Bit of an unexpected choice I suppose, but the sooner the better so that we can start to get some reactions to the film and Meryl's performance.  The film hits the U.S. two days later.  I highly doubt Meryl will attend the Swiss premiere.

Yesterday, there were also a few new movie posters revealed for Suffragette, which include stars Helena Bonham, Carey Mulligan and of course, our girl.  I think they look great.  Can't wait for this pic as well.  It's getting a fair amount of buzz around the film blogs I've been perusing so I hope it lives up to the hype.  We can expect Suffragette to hit cinemas in the U.S. in late October.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Streep Tease" set to return

Streep Tease: An Evening of Meryl Streep Monologues Performed by an All-Male Cast is looking to reboot its popular run.  They happened to tweet me about their kickstarter campaign so I'm happy to oblige with a little ink and a few bucks in support.  I wasn't sure on the website if it's going to be held in L.A. or New York.  Either way, I may find myself taking an impromptu weekend trip sometime this fall if the project gets funded.  I never got a chance to see it in its earlier stagings.  Click here to support!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Jenny Lewis pens song for "Ricki and the Flash"

Who?! I know you're thinking "who the hell is Jenny Lewis?"  I didn't recognize the name either, but I cam across this article which talks about how Meryl gave the songwriter insight into her character Ricki to help compose "Cold One" for the upcoming film.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jenny is a former child star, whom I easily recognized from roles in The Wizard with Fred Savage ("he touched my breast!") and a guest appearance on the greatest show that was ever on television, The Golden Girls.  

Can we sense Oscar buzz for best original song?  Ricki opens in less than a month!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New TV spot for "Ricki and the Flash"

Just a few weeks before Ricki and the Flash debuts in theaters!  I'll likely be seeing it for the first time in Cleveland, as Joe has a swim race there that weekend.  A new tv spot was released today.  Essentially nothing different from the trailer but worth a gander:

The film opens nationwide on August 7.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Accents Mastered updated

Ok this is kind of a lame post, but I realized that I hadn't updated the "Accents Mastered' tag since 2012.  The only film I have to add is The Homesman.  I realize she's barely in the film and some may not necessarily think she's using much of an accent, but after the first clip of her performance came out, I remember doing a little research on what someone living in Iowa in the mid 19th century would sound like.  I believed I settled on "Central Plains Midwestern."  Yup.

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)--Tennessean
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)--British (specifically Received Pronunciation)
Sophie's Choice (1982)--Polish (in English and German)
Silkwood (1983)--Texan
Plenty (1985)--British
Out of Africa (1985)--Danish
Ironweed (1987)--Irish-American
A Cry in the Dark (1988)--New Zealand (with strong layers of Australian)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)--Italian (Meryl calls it Iowatalian)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)--Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (Received Pronunciation)
August: Osage County (2013)--Oklahoman
The Homesman (2014)--Central Plains Midwestern

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy 66th, Meryl!

Streep turns 66 today.  I'm guessing she's spending it at work on the set of Florence Foster Jenkins, which is a great testament to her continued drive to perform and make films.  Of course I would want it no other way.  Here's to many more years of the same!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

More (better) pics of Streep on set of "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Just a few days after fans caught a glimpse of queen Meryl on the set of Florence Foster Jenkins, we're now getting a far clearer idea of what her character looks like:

Is that you Meryl? Hugh was filming scenes with his co-star Meryl Streep, who was seen on set in costume for the first time on Wednesday

Styled like a socialite: The Oscar-winning actress was dressed in stereotypical ensemble from the 1940s, complete with kitsch fascinator, fur wrap and roller-curled hair

Obviously she's wearing some sort of fat suit to look larger.  Ms Jenkins was a tad corpulent in her golden years.  Filming is expected to wrap on the Stephen Frears pic next month.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Streep captured filming "Florence Foster Jenkins" in Liverpool

Before I properly begin this post, I want to acknowledge a milestone, in that this is the 500th post of Word on the Streep.  Holy shit!  It'll be four years in August that I started this blog, and it continues to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Thank you to any and all readers.

Okay, so some bad pics of Meryl have been posted online from the set of Florence Foster Jenkins:

Pic from @ChicGeek on Instagram

I think we can assume that that's Meryl in the pink frock.  Nothing too spectacular.  If you're interested, some clearer (non-Meryl) images are included in a slideshow on the original site.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Alexandre Desplat to score "Florence Foster Jenkins"

This news is a couple days old and normally I wouldn't find this post material, but French composer Alexandre Desplat is reteaming with director Stephen Frears to score Florence Foster Jenkins.  This guy just won the Academy Award for scoring The Grand Budapest Hotel, and has seven additional nominations, including for The Queen and Philomena.  I just enjoy when Meryl's films include the best filmmakers.

This is a good opportunity to reiterate how nice it is that Meryl has joined forces with some great directors over the past two years.  Say what you may about Rob Marshall, but Into the Woods was highly effective.  Jonathan Demme and Frears's credentials are well-known, and we know Meryl would have probably wrapped Master Class by now with Mike Nichols at the helm.  Based on the trailers, Sarah Gavron is also getting a lot of buzz for Suffragette.  Makes me more excited for the possibility of who might direct The Good House if it happens.  Which it better.

Monday, June 8, 2015

New trailer for "Ricki and the Flash"

Well this was sort of unexpected, but a new trailer has been released for Ricki and the Flash. 

There are a few differences from the first trailer.  We see a bit more of the dramatic aspect of the story, concerning Ricki's rough relationship with her family and how that seems to be affecting the difficult situation her daughter currently finds herself in.  Overall, still not a fantastic trailer.  The first at least had a bit more music in it. I'll probably go into this not really expecting much.  At this point I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First full trailer for "Suffragette"

A full-length trailer for Suffragette was released this morning:

My first reaction is that this actually looks like this could be a great film. Dramatic, important story in history. Both Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter look fantastic. Nothing new from Meryl's character, but her role is used to its fullest in the cut here. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one.

Monday, June 1, 2015

On-set pics from "Florence Foster Jenkins"

I'm a little pokey getting to this, but we've gotten our first pics from the set of Florence Foster Jenkins:

Director Stephen Frears

Hugh Grant as St. Clair Bayfield

No other glimpses of Meryl yet!  Filming will take place through July.  No word yet on expected release dates.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Africa" film scrapped

 A couple of months ago I had reported that Meryl was mentioned to be attached to the Angelina Jolie project about paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey.  The film, entitled Africa, was tentatively scheduled to begin shooting later this summer.  Today, the would-be cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked with Jolie on Unbroken, indicated that the film will not be happening.  In a French interview for Premiere magazine, he states on page 16:

"Invincible was a good experience, and when Angelina announced she wanted to do this film about Richard Leakey , I jumped at the chance. Not only because I had worked with her, but because I wanted to return to Africa , where I went often. Especially for Mountains of the Moon in Kenya. I not only admired as director Bob Rafelson , but humanly , it was adorable. Unfortunately, Africa will not take place . This is a big disappointment."

Earlier this month it was revealed that Jolie was having trouble securing funding for the film's ballooning budget.  Not a huge surprise that they've passed on this one.  Too bad, as it sounded like a very interesting subject.  I guess this just opens up more time for Meryl to film The Good House!

Friday, May 22, 2015

First pic of Streep in "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Pathé has released the first production still from the set of Florence Foster Jenkins: 

Hugh Grant plays her partner and manager St. Clair Bayfield.  The film, directed by Stephen Frears is currently filming around London.  

With the first official pic released already in May, it begs the question of whether they'll try to push this into cinemas by the end of the year.  I still think it would fit perfectly in late summer 2016 as a comedy, but even some of the blogs I've been reading have inquired about the same thing.  As usual, time will tell.  Looking forward to this film regardless of when it's released.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Preview of new song from "Ricki and the Flash"

A preview of the original song "Cold One" has been posted to the Ricki and the Flash website.  Penned by Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice, we get to hear Meryl with the lead vocals. She provides a nice folk-rock sound to it..even a bit of gravel in her voice.  I think what I'm most looking forward to in this movie is the music.  The film opens nationwide August 7.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shoulds Coulda Wouldas #12: "Dirty Tricks"

I'm a bad Meryl fan.  Here I thought I was all done with the Shoulda Coulda Woulda section, but a couple of weeks ago while doing a little research for my "predicting the next five years" post, I realized something.  We already know that Ryan Murphy has been interested in filming Best Actress, the behind-the-scenes look at the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? for HBO.  I was unaware however that it was him who in 2005 was announced to write and direct Meryl in the film version of John Jeter's play Dirty Tricks.  

I had been fully aware of this project dating back to 2005, but was under the impression that the part of Martha Mitchell would've been a supporting role, along with Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon and Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean.  Upon learning that it was indeed Murphy behind this project, with a little investigation I also realized that this was likely going to be a lead role for Meryl.  Martha Mitchell was deemed "the mouth of the South" for her whistleblowing in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal in early 70's.  The outspoken, Arkansan wife of Nixon's attorney general John Mitchell became famous after her frequent phone calls to members of the press, detailing political shenanigans that took place under the corrupt Republican administration.  

The news of this project broke in August of 2005, with Murphy hoping to begin filming by spring 2006.  If we consider the possibility that this came together for production at some point in 2006, we could've expected a release sometime in 2007, and as is usual with Streep's starring roles, likely fourth quarter for awards placement.  This idea created a predicament for me, as I've already completed my reimagined history, which included 2007 of course.  But consider if Meryl had a lead role in a politically-themed movie in place of the two supporting roles in the poorly-received Rendition and Lions for Lambs.  Plus it's a fairly baity character...alcoholic, eccentric, heavy Arkansan accent. Seems a better project than either of the aforementioned films.  

This of course would alter my reimagined history, something I thought was completely set in stone.  But I'm strongly considering addending it to replace both Rendition and Lions for Lambs with Dirty Tricks.  With the same rationale in mind, I'm also considering altering 2014's filmography, but I'm not giving away those exact details quite yet.  Regardless of what I decide, this was a fun discovery and yet another fun speculation of what could've been.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Production begins on "Florence Foster Jenkins"

It was reported this morning that Meryl is in the UK to begin filming Florence Foster Jenkins. We've been expecting a May start, so this seems to confirm that.  The article also reports that the shooting schedule is expected to last ten weeks.  If filming is actually beginning this week, we could expect it to wrap by mid July.  It would be quick, but five months is absolutely possible to complete post-production on a film like this.  I still think it's unlikely, but Frears pics have tended to be end-of-the-year fare, a la The Queen and Philomena.  It doesn't seem as likely that they would push a release all the way to the end of 2016.  If it's released  next year, I would guess another late summer release.  I'll be very interested to learn when they officially plan for it to premiere.