Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Her Again

Meryl is on the April cover of Vanity Fair. In it, we are given a substantial excerpt from the upcoming Streep biography entitled Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep.  Written by Michael Schulman, the book covers the early years of Streep's acting career in the mid to late 70's, apparently up the point where she was awarded her first Oscar for Kramer vs Kramer.  Of course I've already pre-ordered my copy which is set to arrive the first week of May.  I also read the Vanity Fair article last night, which makes me excited for the book.  The details with which the author describes Meryl's thought processes and personal contributions to the script during the filming of Kramer brought me back to the root of why I'm such a fan of hers.  I kept thinking to myself while reading it "she's just so great at finding the humanity in her characters."

The biography is apparently "non-authorized" and Meryl has released a statement that she did not contribute to the book nor has she read it. Multiple sources are making a big deal about the Dustin vs Meryl struggle that was evidently a cornerstone of Kramer's production, particularly that Hoffman allegedly slapped Meryl to evoke a certain emotional response in her performance.  I don't know why that would be a big deal to report.  I can recall Meryl saying on television that Dustin slapped her across the face as hard as he could which "set up the stakes" for filming.  Whether or not it's true, Streep has said so herself, so hopefully no one gives Schulman any shit over it.

Check out the article and book!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Streep featured in Nora Ephron documentary

On Monday, a documentary on Nora Ephron was made available on HBO.  Entitled Everything is Copy, it features numerous insights from those close to the late writer, reflecting on both her personal and professional lives.  Meryl, having worked with Ephron on Silkwood, Heartburn and Julie & Julia, was of course on hand to provide a few keen observations.

The film was fantastic.  Funny yet touching, for anyone who access to HBO, I highly recommend giving it a look.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

World Premiere of "Florence Foster Jenkins" set for April 12

Sorry I'm a little late posting this news but I've been out of town for a few days and am finally getting around to it.  One online source is reporting that Florence Foster Jenkins will have its world premiere in London at Odeon Leicester Square on April 12.  That's just over three weeks away!   A wide release is expected in the U.K. on May 6, but no news on when we'll get our chance in the U.S.  I'm hoping that there won't be an embargo on reviews for the film after its premiere.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

First full trailer for "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Pathé UK has given us the first full-length trailer for Florence Foster Jenkins:


They're definitely holding out on letting us hear the really bad singing, which is probably a good strategy.  I'm going to have to let the trailer sink in a bit more but one thing I'll say is that I'm looking forward to Meryl portraying someone a little less eccentric soon.  Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Snubs #4: "Ricki and the Flash"

Jeeze it's been over three years since I've posted in this section!  Now that the awards season for 2015 has wrapped up, I think it's okay to officially complain about the fact that Meryl received no recognition for her performance as Linda 'Ricky' Rendazzo in last year's Ricki and the Flash.  Up to this point in my "Snubs" tag I've focused on films for which I thought Meryl deserved an Academy Award nomination.  I'll concede that Streep's work in Ricki was not necessarily up to that standard, but a Golden Globe nod should've been a lock.

Much of the issue with whether or not Meryl gets nominations is how long it's been since her last.  She had been nominated for an Oscar six out the last eight years. Having won her third in what some would consider a controversial year in 2012 for The Iron Lady, her two follow-up nominations were met with much less enthusiasm.  She barely squeaked in for August: Osage County, and although her reviews were good for Into the Woods, she garnered zero critics' nominations/awards for that role, leading some to believe she either shouldn't or wouldn't be nominated for Oscar.

With the news for Ricki coming out in early 2014, we were all a flutter with anticipation, namely due to the pedigrees of those involved.  Jonathan Demme directing a script by Diablo Cody with Meryl in the lead role seemed like the perfect recipe for success.  Meryl would learn guitar, rock on stage and get to work alongside her daughter Mamie in the film.  How can this not be a huge winner?

Alas, the film did not live up to expectations.  It's possible that it was never intended to be "that" movie, but I think most of us were hoping that if it didn't fit the bill for awards, it would at least be a box office success.  Its returns weren't terrible, but nothing like It's Complicated, Mamma Mia! or even Hope Springs.  Oscar was out.  Up until Golden Globe nominations were announced last December I still thought Meryl would make it into the top five for Musical/Comedy.  Instead, the field included the following actresses:

1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)-winner
2. Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
3. Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van)
4. Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
5. Lily Tomlin (Grandma)

Admittedly, this was a tough top five to crack.  Reasonable category fraud for Lawrence, but having seen Joy, it's not as blatant as The Martian.  Loved Schumer.   Having not seen the other three, how can I say Meryl should've made it?  If we're really considering acting and not humor or film success, I find it very hard to believe Streep was not more deserving than at least one of these ladies.  I can't begrudge Tomlin or Smith their due as actors over 70, and both Schumer and McCarthy headed box-office juggernauts.  Despite her fine performance, I'm afraid Lawrence would be the one I'd replace.

If there were ever a year to not get too upset at Streep being left out of the "season", it was this one.  Ricki as a film wasn't strong enough to contend with the others in its category and Meryl is an almost perennial nominee.  Let someone else in, I guess.  Ultimately, this only better sets her up to earn record 30th Golden Globe and 20th Academy Award nominations for Florence Foster Jenkins.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let's Talk About...

When I have specific requests from readers, I pay very close attention.  One of our regular viewers, Rob, suggested that I choose a Streep film for all of us to watch or re-watch and then discuss.  Although a seemingly natural idea, I've never called for a specific discussion regarding thoughts on Streep's individual works.  Yes, I provide my film reviews but they don't necessarily facilitate a conversation around what everyone's thoughts are.

So, I'm adding a tag above entitled "Lets' Talk About..." where I'll select a film and encourage any and all readers to provide their two cents.  If you'd like to chime in, just add your comments to contribute to the dialogue.  Given that Rob mentioned Dark Matter, I'll start there.  Coincidentally, I happened to watch this film not too long ago, so some of my thoughts are reasonably fresh in my mind.  Check it out in the comments section.  I look forward to future posts in this section.  Thanks for the recommendation, Rob!