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.  


  1. Ah well, she might clinch a nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. Biopics are her cup of tea, neh?

    1. They do seem to be, but I really enjoy seeing her in original characters. I need The Good House to happen!

    2. Sounds interesting, but honestly, I want her to take a small vacation; she deserves a nice break from work.

  2. PS-full trailer for Florence Foster Jenkins coming in the morning.

  3. When I saw this video I dreamed with the possibility of having Meryl performing this song at the Oscars. It would be memorable...