Monday, August 19, 2019

"Let Them All Talk" lands at HBO Max

Just a few days after it was announced that Meryl was already in the filming process of another Steven Soderbergh film, multiple sources are reporting today that the yet-to-debut streaming platform HBO Max has landed distribution rights to the film.

Let Them All Talk (which is apparently a working title) centers on a celebrated author (Streep) who goes on a trip with two girlfriends (Dianne Wiest and Candace Bergin) to have some fun and heal old wounds. Lucas Hedges apparently plays Meryl's nephew, who strikes up a relationship with Gemma Chen's character, a literary agent.

This too is listed as a comedy. My understanding is that although it is on a television streaming device, it is a feature film that would likely go the way of Netflix original films--meaning they'll have a limited release in theaters and be eligible for Academy Award consideration. Although I don't know if that is set in stone.

Filming is currently underway in New York and will then reportedly move to the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship, and then the United Kingdom. 

No release dates have yet been mentioned. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Streep to team with Soderbergh (again) on "Let Them All Talk"

According to The Playlist, Meryl is in the process of filming a "secret" movie with director Steven Soderbergh entitled Let Them All Talk. Very little is known as of yet, other than that the one other actor is Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians), and the film is shooting for a few days in New York before setting off to a remote overseas location.

Wow, this info seems so unexpected and obscure. By the way it's reported, it sounds like it's a feature narrative film, and they're shooting it on some brand new type of digital camera called the RED Komodo Dragon. It's hard to get too excited when we don't have any idea of what type of character Meryl is playing, nor what the story is about.

Evidently they're expecting a bidding war for which studio or platform will land distribution rights.

Meryl just keeps on truckin' along.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

First trailer for "Little Women"

Sony has released the first trailer for Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women:

At first gander, the cinematography is gorgeous, and the performances seem like they're going to be strong. It's definitely got a timely bent, with a focus on the vitality and viability of women as individuals.

Meryl is featured more prominently as Aunt March than I expected, and her line "That's because I'm rich," I'm sure will have fans buzzing.

Some early reports from screenings have suggested that Timothée Chalamet's interpretation of Laurie seems too contemporary. But from what I've seen in the trailer, he didn't seem to negatively stand out in that way.

The film opens nationwide on Christmas Day.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Eight years of Word on the Streep

Hard to believe it's been eight years since my first post! As I do each year on the anniversary of the start of this blog, I'd like to give a great big thank-you to any and all readers. I hope everyone enjoys reading half as much as I enjoy the writing.

It's a been a great year to be a Meryl fan! Big Little Lies recently finished, and we have both The Laundromat and Little Women coming out in just a few months (the trailer for Little Women happens to come out tomorrow by the way). And then Meryl will begin filming The Prom around December. She's looking to be in the conversation for awards attention for both The Laundromat and Big Little Lies. It'll be a fun winter!

Thanks again, everyone!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

David Holmes to score "The Laundromat"

It was reported yesterday that composer David Holmes will provide the score for Steven Soderbergh's upcoming Panama Papers dark comedy, The Laundromat. Holmes previously worked on Soderbergh's "Ocean Trilogy" (Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen).  He also currently scores the hit BBC thriller, Killing Eve.

The Laundromat is set for its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in just a few short weeks, where it will be shown in competition.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Streep to go supporting for "The Laundromat" after all?

Awards prognosticator Clayton Davis from Awards Circuit tweeted this yesterday regarding Meryl's category placement for The Laundromat:

While historically Davis isn't necessarily super reliable with info such as this, some at Awards Watch are suggesting that he's correct, in that he may be privy to Netflix's official submission plans.

Supporting seems the more likely category for Meryl, considering what we've heard so far of her screen time and the overall length of the film. This placement also makes it more likely that she'll actually be nominated.

Might we see Meryl up against Laura Dern for both TV and movie awards next year (both for their work in Big Little Lies and Dern for her supporting role in Noah Baumbach's upcoming Marriage Story)?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"Big Little Lies" season 3?

From the moment they announced there was going to be a second season of Big Little Lies, my assumption has been that this was it. The first season was to be a limited series, as the story was based on Liane Moriarty's novel of the same name. But after the enormous success of that project, there was a call for more--from fans, and likely the actors involved as well.

I'm thrilled that (for the most part) the second season was very well-received, considering Meryl was a big part of it. But the season was an afterthought, really. Moriarty wrote a 100-page novella as the template for the second season. That was then drafted into a script which gave us the seven-episode second iteration of the series. And now we have a drama series, rather than a limited series.

HBO executives have stated that the likelihood is very low that a third season will happen, which I totally expected. There have, however, been a few blurbs recently from producers/stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, stating that the they don't want to answer every question about what the cliffhanger from the season two finale means. "A little mystery," as Kidman suggests, is good, especially if they cook up that third season to answer those pesky curiosities.

I still think it's less than a 10% chance that it'll happen. Even if they have more to tell in the story and it gets green-lit (which shouldn't be a problem considering how popular the show is), the bigger obstacle would be getting all the starts on board again. And of course, we don't even know if Meryl's character would be a part of that third season story.

But you never know...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Streep to receive Tribute Actor Award at TIFF

Meryl is just always in the news these days. Several sources are reporting that she will be the recipient of Toronto International Film Festival's Tribute Actor Award.

From TIFF:

Meryl Streep is undoubtedly one of the most talented and versatile actors of her generation,” TIFF co-head Joana Vicente said in a statement. “Her tremendous contribution to cinema, television, and the stage spans five decades; from her early roles in “The Deer Hunter,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” and “Sophie’s Choice” to later films including “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Iron Lady,” and “The Post,” she has portrayed characters that are as compelling as they are timeless. TIFF could not be more thrilled to honor such a skilled and exemplary artist.

The award will be given during a gala event on September 9. I'm guessing that she will be in attendance for it. The Laundromat is set for its North American premiere at the festival, which runs September 5-15. 

It seems the campaign is already on. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"The Laundromat" also heading to Venice

Just a couple days after the announcement that The Laundromat will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, multiple sources are reporting today that the film will also be shown in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Venice runs from August 28-September 7, so technically, the world premiere might actually be there? No word yet on which day the film will be shown for each festival. 

Also, and to my great surprise, the sources reporting this morning's news are describing The Laundromat as a "dark comedy." I was not expecting that at all. Apparently Meryl's character sort of unearths the tax-avoidance scheme of Mossack-Fonseca. The fact that it apparently will have some light-heartedness to it is actually kind of refreshing, considering how dry the tagline sort of reads.

Are we not going to get at least a teaser trailer beforehand?!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"The Laundromat" to premiere in Toronto

Multiple sources are reporting today that Steven Soderbergh's Netflix drama The Laundromat will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, as one of its "Special Presentations." We also got our first official still from the movie, with Meryl in a solo pic:

We still don't really know how big Meryl's role is going to be in this film. It seems likely that it's more than a glorified cameo, considering she's always listed first when the film is discussed in print. The fact that she's also the one shown in the first official still, maybe she's actually going to be closer to lead?  That would be amazing and exciting. Regardless, it's fun to know we'll have reactions and/or reviews from the film in just about six weeks. 

TIFF runs from September 5-15, and The Laundromat is set for release in theaters and on Netflix on November 1. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Episode 7 of "Big Little Lies"

That's it, folks. Seven weeks never went so fast, and with it, the second season of Big Little Lies is in the history books.

They didn't waste any time getting to the scene we were all waiting for. Celeste went at Mary Louise hard on the witness stand, painting her as the genesis for why her son Perry turned into the monster he was. It was probably predictable that Celeste would get custody, but I found it nerve-wracking regardless. I have to admit that I started to feel an ounce of sympathy for Mary Louise--a credit to Meryl of course, when she started to feel the guilt of her responsibility in how she raised her son. The part where Max and Josh were sent over to give her a hug after the judgement put a little knot in my throat.

Thank God Ed and Madeline just buried the hatchet already. Glad to see that Renata dumped Gordon, and Jane looks like she might be happy to pursue things with Corey. I was totally ready to see a scene at the end where Bonnie drives herself off the road, or Mary Louise sees her in the car and runs her off the road or tries to crash into her, killing herself and Bonnie in the process. Instead, we see the Monterey Five respond to Bonnie's text and join her in walking into the police department, no doubt to confess and bring some closure to all.

The ending leaves things open for a third season, and there are reports recently of Nicole Kidman saying she'd be up for it, but I don't see it happening. HBO bosses have already gone on record saying it's unlikely. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing this show continue, but the cast probably just won't be able to all get together to make it happen, even if they all had interest. And Meryl likely wouldn't really be involved regardless.

Wild to think that it will be a year before we know how it fares for Emmy nominations. But there are of course the Golden Globe and SAG award noms coming up in just over four months!

I'll leave everyone with this little gem of an exchange between Meryl and the great Laura Dern:

Monday, July 15, 2019

Episode 6 of "Big Little Lies"

Only one left. The latest episode essentially revolved around the unfolding custody battle between Celeste and Mary Louise. I have to admit, I was pretty uncomfortable for much of the episode. The entire time Celeste was on the stand was a wrenching display of victim and slut-shaming, and Nicole Kidman's negotiation of those emotions and her reactions to the dick lawyer were painfully wonderful. I suspect that I'm not alone in the ever-increasing contempt I have for Meryl's character. Her smug looks and shameless exploitation of an abused woman (the mother of her grandchildren, by the way) just make me want to walk up to her and say something nasty. Jane had the same feeling, apparently, as she showed up at Mary Louise's door and basically hollered, "Call this off you crazy bitch."

I thought Zoë Kravitz did a nice job in the scene where she tells her presumably sleeping mother that she killed Perry. I'm not a big fan of the storyline with her mom, but it helps give some background on why she pushed him and why she's struggled so much with the aftermath. I'm totally bored with Madeline and Ed's marital woes. They're having the same conversation nine different ways and they're both just getting annoying. Either break up or have a crazy makeup fuck, already. And poor Renata takes another hit from her slimeball husband, who evidently forgot to mention that in addition to squandering their fortune, he was sleeping with the nanny.

Next week of course is the season (and likely series) finale, and we'll get to see Celeste scrutinize Mary Louise's fitness for custody, as she interrogates her mother-in-law on the stand. It's going to be TV gold, and hopefully it gives Meryl an opportunity to shine, as well as provide the viewers with a few more answers as to why she is the way that she is.

Six weeks has flown by!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Positive reactions to test screenings of "Little Women"

My go-to for film news, Awards Watch, has been buzzing today with news that there have a been a couple of screenings of Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women. Meryl of course has a small role in the film as Aunt March. Most recently on Monday, the film was screened in Los Angeles to favorable reactions. I found a blog called World of Reel that evidently has access to those reactions (whether they're from Twitter users or whatever, but we'll assume the people actually saw the movie).

Big takeaways for me were that Saoirse Ronan is great (shocking), Florence Pugh is best in show at Amy, and Timothée Chalamet is good, but possibly a little too modern-seeming. No word on Meryl, but again, she's got a bit part. Gerwig's direction is praised, as well as the score by frequent Oscar contender Alexandre Desplat. There are rumors that Emma Watson is the weak link, with some even going so far as to say that some of Laura Dern's scenes were cut because they were mostly with Watson. That could be hyperbole, however, and time will tell as always.

Little Women opens Christmas Day.

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, and Eliza Scanlen

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Episode 5 of "Big Little Lies"

Ugh, I hate cliffhangers. Let's just start with that last scene. Bonnie's really struggling and we see her at the end approaching the police station. Then out comes Corey, the guy Jane is seeing, and they lock eyes. The way Corey was leaving the station, I got the impression that he was being interrogated, but he could also be undercover?

It didn't really seem like all that much happened in this episode, but it was more of a setting up week for the big drama to finally unfold. Celeste and Mary Louise are in the thick of the custody battle now, and it's looking more like grandma might have a chance at partial custody. This was probably the least screen time Meryl had in any of the episodes. I was wishing to have a better back and forth in her scene with Laura Dern (Renata), but it just turned out being Mary Louise interrupting with snide comments about Renata's lack of furniture. I hope there's another layer that Meryl is yet to show in the last two episodes.

Shailene Woodley continues to impress. Her scene with Corey where she breaks down was pretty touching, and it will make it all the more powerful if it turns out the Corey is somehow a plant for the police. And what the hell was with the scene at the bar with Ed and Tori? Are she and Joseph trying to have a threeway? Or is it just some weird revenge thing that Tori wants because Madeline slept with her husband? 

Several unanswered questions in this episode, and although I think it was my least favorite, it's the most excited I've been to see the next one, because I want some answers!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Episode 4 of "Big Little Lies"


Nicole Kidman's left hand may be the MVP of episode four. Within the first ten minutes, Meryl's character, Mary Louise, shows up unannounced to a pumpkin-carving party and says some things that would make even Mother Teresa want to take a whack. Mary Louise continues to try to infiltrate the lives of both her daughter-in-law (Celeste) and her newly-discovered grandson (Ziggy), by renting an apartment in the same building as Ziggy's mother, Jane. Bonnie is worried that Mary Louise suspects her in Perry's death (based on a "look") and Renata and Madeline continue their seemingly losing battle within their marriages. 

"Foreplay?" What a bitch. That was a pretty quick synopsis, but the thrust of tonight's episode involves Mary Louise's machinations to secure custody of her grandchildren. Following Celeste's car accident, the discovery of multiple prescription pill bottles, the slap, and ultimately walking in on Celeste in a post-coital Ambien hangover, Mary Louise is ripe to strike. Although we realize Streep's character is a total opportunistic loon, it's difficult to disagree with her concerns for the boys when considering it from the perspective of the other characters. Her brief scene with Shailene Woodley (Jane) was again packed with a lot of dramatic punch. 

Meryl had a lot of screen time this episode. I'm still expecting her to go supporting for Emmy consideration, but at this point, I don't think it would be out of the realm of possibility to see her fielded in lead. Could that be a thing? Imagine Reese Witherspoon, Kidman and Streep all nominated in lead and Dern, Woodley and maybe Kravitz nommed in supporting.

I'm enjoying every minute of season two. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Streep to star in Ryan Murphy's "Prom"

It seemed like only a matter of time before Meryl and Ryan Murphy were able to join forces for a project. Looks like that's about to happen, as Deadline is reporting that Murphy will be producing and directing a feature film adaptation for Netflix of the Tony-nominated musical, The Prom, to be retitled simply, Prom. Streep would play the lead Dee Dee Allen and is to be joined by James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, Ariana Grande, Awkwafina, and Keegan-Michael Key.

The synopsis as described by Deadline reads:

~In Prom, Streep will play Dee Dee Allen, a two-time Tony winner who teams with Corden’s Barry Glickman in a flop musical about Eleanor Roosevelt. After career-ending reviews, they decide — along with Broadway babies Kidman as Angie Dickinson and Rannells (Book of Mormon) as Trent Oliver — to champion a cause to rehabilitate their careers. They find one in Emma, a high school senior in Indiana who isn’t allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom. A nationwide search led by casting director Alexa Fogel is on to fill the role of Emma.~

This could be good! I have to admit that I had never heard of this musical. It apparently just opened last fall but was nominated for like seven Tony Awards. Streep's role will definitely be a lead performance. The cast, as expected in any Murphy project, is diverse, and this may be the first time Meryl's love interest is a person of color (Key)?

More details are sure to come in the near future, but filming is expected to get underway this December for a late 2020 release. 

Love new project announcements!

Streep, Kidman, & Murphy

Monday, June 24, 2019

Episode 3 of "Big Little Lies"

Well, the drama continues. Tensions are running high in Monterey and few people are happy. Mary Louise is being her creepy self and going as far as to show up at Jane's (Shailene Woodley) place of work to ask about her "encounter" with her son. A paternity test?! "Take a hike, bitch!" is what I'd probably say if I were in Jane's shoes. Mary Louise's behavior is classic victim blaming, and Meryl is making it very difficult to feel sympathetic for her. But I have to say her character is showcasing an interesting history of what kind of home Perry may have grown up in.

I think the show is doing a good job of showing how moving on from an abusive relationship isn't as easy is it may seem. Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is struggling with missing Perry, and with the help of her therapist trying to get past the feelings of emptiness she has now that her husband is dead...even if he used to beat the shit out of her. Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Ed (Adam Scott) even get into the therapy act, after Madeline had revealed her infidelity to him last episode.

With all the grieving going on, it can get a little heavy-handed. But thanks to the spectacular Laura Dern, we're getting a bit of comic relief with how over-the-top ridiculous Renata is. From insisting her daughter be transferred to Stanford hospital for an anxiety attack, to calling someone a "pussfuck," there were several times I laughed out loud at how derailed she lets herself get. And that alligator blazer! She was my favorite this week (aside from Meryl every week. of course).

Hard to believe that after next week the season will already be more than half over!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The big 7-0

Happy birthday to our favorite! Today is a milestone for an iconic woman, who, through the sheer force of her talent, has almost single-handedly rewritten what it means to be an actress in Hollywood over the age of 40. Even twenty years ago, it seemed almost impossible that someone in her demographic could consistently be afforded the opportunity to turn out amazing performance after amazing performance. Thankfully, it's not just Meryl anymore. Ever increasingly, we are seeing women of all ages portrayed in complex roles, especially with the television renaissance of the past decade. It's fitting that as Meryl turns 70 this weekend, she's currently showcased in one of the most popular television series of the past five years, receiving some of the best reviews she has this century.

Is it wrong to think that 70 is still young? When it comes to Meryl's screen work, I hope not.

Here's to another 30 years of wowing us (I'll maybe be OK if she wants to retire at 100)!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

First look at "Little Women"

Vanity Fair has released an article with our first look at multiple production still from the filming of Little Women. I've included some of the best below:

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan & Eliza Scanlen

Saoirse Ronan & Timothée Chalamet

Director Greta Gerwig with Meryl Streep

Eliza Scanlen

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan & Eliza Scanlen

The photos looks stunning, and they bode well for the film's Oscar chances in costume design and possibly production design. Looking forward to the teaser in a few weeks!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Episode 2 of "Big Little Lies"

OK, so a lot of heavy shit went down this episode. The biggest thing is probably that Jane and Celeste end up telling their kids that Perry is Ziggy's dad. Bonnie's basically suffering from post-traumatic stress, so Nathan asks her mom to come out and help. Her mom is pretty in tune with what's wrong with Bonnie, and she's apparently some kind of like witch doctor who's using crystals to help her troubled daughter. Madeline confesses to Ed that she had an affair (thanks to the second time in two days one of her daughter gets a little loose with her language). Renata's dick husband has allegedly squandered all their money on some risky business venture, and we get to see pretty clearly what's behind her motivation for success.

And then of course, there's Mary Louise. She gets creepier by the minute. She's also sort of an awful person, if we didn't already realize that. After hearing the painful revelation from Celeste that Perry was physically abusive, instead of being sympathetic, caring and a listener, Mary Louise can do nothing but deny the possibility that her son could have been that way and that he could have raped someone as well. Essentially it's an exercise in denial, and Meryl plays it well, in that I wanted to reach through my TV and slap Mary Louise into reality.

Shailene Woodley was best in show for me tonight. The scene where she's telling Ziggy the truth about his father--it was pretty easy to feel her pain, and I thought she did a wonderful job conveying that.

With all this stuff out in the open already in week two, there's a pretty solid framework for a five more episodes of conflict. Fifty minutes never went by so fast...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Teaser for "Little Women" coming in July

Film Updates is reporting that a teaser trailer for Greta Gerwig's remake of Little Women will be attached to Quentin Tarantino's film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film opens in theaters on July 26.

We can probably expect to see only a tiny snippet of Meryl, as it's just a teaser and she likely has a rather small role.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Episode 1 of "Big Little Lies"

I'm writing this literally five minutes after having watched the first episode of season 2 of HBO's Big Little Lies. Spoiler alert if you plan to watch and don't want details. Historically I'm pretty bad at accurately describing everything I think or feel about a Streep performance very shortly after seeing it, but I also think there's something good about a fresh reaction. So please bare with me and my tendency to ramble.

Suffice it to say, Meryl has done it again. She's managed to surprise me. I pictured the character of Mary Louise Wright as someone a little bit "off," and I think I'm right in that respect. But Meryl figures out a way to undermine our suspicions and expectations of who we think a character is going to be in the first few scenes. There's an unsettling quirkiness about Mary Louise as she settles in Monterey to get to the bottom of how her son died. At the same time, she's the most put-together and in control of anyone in the town. There are enough glints, however, of her own (obviously mistaken) perception of her son, and how that opinion will shape her need for answers.

Basically, the first episode showcases how Bonnie is struggling with the fact that she's killed Perry by pushing him down the stairs to save Celeste. Celeste is having nightmares, and OMG all I could think about seeing Nicole Kidman with Meryl was how fucking awkward it would be to have to be hugged by the mother of your abusive dead husband, especially when that woman happens to be a little cuckoo (see scream scene). Madeline is maddeningly able to just seemingly move on fret about forcing her daughter to go to college, while Renata is not-so-politely instructing a super sexy teacher on how to educate her daughter. Jane's got a romance brewing with a co-worker and is refusing to accept estate checks from Celeste (since Perry was Ziggy's biological father).

I like how the directing seems to be consistent with the style of the first season. It would have been strange to feel like it was a completely different mood. Andrea Arnold has done a great job of maintaining that feel, as well as fashion a sort of melancholy tone for what's supposed to be an angsty return to the first day of school for the Monterey Five--contrasting that with the necessity for the moms to put on a show of normalcy.

As it stands Sunday night, the second season is at a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 82 on Metacritic. Both of those scores are higher than the very well-received first season, but could possibly go down a smidge as more reviews come in.

Two years ago I binge-watched the entire first season in one day on the advice of my friend Scooter. I'm mad I have to wait seven days to see episode two and six more tortuous weeks for the whole story. But it'll be fun taking in the slow burn of all the fun twists and turns that the show and Mary Louise have in store as season unfolds.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

First reviews of "Big Little Lies" cite Streep as standout

We're exactly a week away from the debut of the first episode of season 2 of Big Little Lies. A couple of days ago, reviews started to come in from critics, whom I believe were made privy to the first two episodes. The general consensus is that the second season is very good. More excitingly, Streep is being singled out for Emmy love in most accounts I've read. Not that this is particularly shocking...Meryl is usually best in show. But up alongside the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and and Laura Dern, it's still a tall task to stand out.

There are only five official reviews on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but the season is charting at 80% on RT and whopping 81 on MC. Certainly we'll get more reviews once the show actually airs and everyone gets to see all the episodes. But so far, things look pretty promising for how viewers are going to react to the quality of round two of the series. 

Can't wait 'til next weekend!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Streep attends premiere of season 2 of "Big Little Lies"

Along with the rest of the cast, Meryl walked the red carpet at the premiere of season 2 of Big Little Lies last night in New York City.

Looking lovely as always. I was also happy to find a video of a panel she was part of earlier in the day with costars Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Nicole Kidman. The best I could find was the Facebook feed from The Wing's page. Nothing on YouTube I'm able to embed unfortunately, so click on the link below. Some wonderful pearls of wisdom from the ladies of Monterey. Don't worry, it's only sideways for the first couple minutes:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The men of "Big Little Lies" talk season 2

Jeffrey Nordling, James Tupper and Adam Scott stopped by Good Morning America the other day to discuss the upcoming season of Big Little Lies. Normally I wouldn't post a video like the one below, but they talk about Meryl a bunch, so thought I should share. My favorite little snippet comes at 1:52. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Streep to narrate "Charlotte's Web"

People has announced that Streep will be the first to record a narration of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web since the author did so way back in 1970. I normally don't get too into Meryl's audio work, but this book was my favorite growing up, later followed by a wonderful animated feature starring the voice talents of Debbie Reynolds.

According to the article, Streep will lead a full cast of voices for the audiobook. I didn't see why they're re-recording the novel at this point. Perhaps they thought fifty years was long enough between versions.  The book is set for release by Listening Library this October.

Friday, May 17, 2019

New look to Word on the Streep!

Happy Friday, everyone. I've been kind of itching to switch up the look of the blog a little. So as I'm sure you've noticed if you've ever visited before, the layout has changed. This is probably the third or fourth(?) iteration of the blog's background since I started it in 2011. I just chose one of the simple options Blogger has to offer, and I have to say I enjoy how clean and easy to read all the fonts are. 

You might also notice that I've added a couple of new items off to the right. There's a list of the most-visited posts from the last year, as well as a translate button for those who may prefer to read the blog in a non-English language. Blame Google if it doesn't translate well, but I expect it will be adequate. 

Hope you like the new look!

Friday, May 10, 2019

New trailer for season 2 of "Big Little Lies"

HBO has released a second, full trailer for the upcoming season of Big Little Lies:

This trailer is juicier and showcases how on edge the "Monterey Five" are following Perry's death. A detective is on the case, and more importantly of course Meryl's character is particularly skeptical of how everything went down. She gets a little prickly with Nicole Kidman and I like how she sneers "You left that out, too." We don't know where Mary Louise is getting her info (maybe the detective), but it makes for good drama. 

Can't wait for when this returns on June 9!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Meryl continues to trend top five for Best Supporting Actress predictions

Exactly two months ago, I posted that Meryl had cracked the top five for Best Supporting Actress on my go-to site for Oscar predictions, Awards Watch. Fast forward to today and she's maintained her position at #5 for her role in director Steven Soderbergh's Panama Papers drama for Netflix, The Laundromat. The entire top five is as follows:

1. Margot Robbie (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
2. Annette Bening (The Report)
3. Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
4. Laura Dern (Untitled Noah Baumbach Project)
5. Meryl Streep (The Laundromat)

The one change from two months ago is that Laura Dern was in third, but for Little Women (another Meryl movie btw).  I don't know much about the Noah Baumbach project, other than that Dern is apparently supposed to have meaty role, and that of course it's still untitled. Incidentally, her role as Marmee in Little Women is now listed in sixth place.  

I find it a little bit strange that we still don't have an official release date for The Laundromat, but I assume that will be decided within the next month or two. I feel like I read somewhere that there was to be a test screening last week, but haven't been able to find any further info on it. Perhaps after they get some early audience feedback they'll be able to figure out when best to give the film a limited release in theaters. That release will be necessary for it to be eligible at the Oscars, since its main venue for viewers will of course be Netflix.  

Monday, April 29, 2019

New pics from "Big Little Lies"

We're under the six week mark! Game of Thrones is definitely tying me over until June (OMG did you watch last night?!), but season 2 of Big Little Lies is set for its return on Sunday, June 9. A few new stills were released today. I'm only posting the one of Meryl as "Mary Louise."  Click here to check out all eleven with a little snippet from Entertainment Weekly. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Why Do We Love Meryl Streep?

The answer to the title's question could be harder to answer than you might think. When people are surprised to learn that I have a blog about Meryl Streep, the typical question is "what do you like so much about her?" It's easy to say I like her movies, or just think that she's a great actress. But of course it goes further than that. The combination of skill and being able to tap into the humanity of characters, and then somehow managing to display that in a way that draws in viewers is probably the grandest appeal for me. I love her versatility. I love her humor. I love that she's a thinker, a person of the world. I love that she doesn't always do a great job of pretending she's not the best. I love that she sees people.

So when I came across this new video that was posted Friday, I was so pleased to see someone cogently break down what it really is about Meryl that makes her such a big deal to a lot of people. You have to watch:

Kudos to 'Be Kind Rewind' for this great video. We get a good background on beginnings in the theater and how it all went back to the fact that she's just a very skilled actor. People can scoff at her frequent implementation of accents, but I agree with Meryl that if you're playing someone else, how can you do that and always sound like yourself? Also, as she says, "if you capture someone's speech, you capture them."

One other thing I really enjoyed about this video is the comparison done between Meryl and some of her peers. We all know there's is always a paucity of great roles for women, especially over the age of 40. With Meryl's versatility, she's managed to avoid being typecast. I've heard her say that this was a conscious effort on her part, so as to maintain a enduring career. Of course she first has to possess the ability to perform in a variety of roles, but she's never been boxed into "the Meryl Streep role," with maybe the exception of someone who often plays a character who doesn't sound like herself.

Overall a great take on Meryl as a person and as an actor. She's carved out a niche for herself as both a revered artist as well as a box office powerhouse. Here's hoping she's got even more up her sleeve as she enters her eighth decade!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

New footage of Meryl in "Big Little Lies"

There's a trailer out there for Spanish-language TV that includes new footage of Meryl in Big Little Lies:

Most of the footage is the same as the U.S. teaser released last weekend. Near the end of this one, Meryl's character demonstrates to her grandsons and daughter-in-law how she apparently screamed after learning of her son's death. In just the few seconds of this clip, Mary Louise Wright seems a bit kooky. I wonder if that'll be an edge to the character. Up to now, I had expected her to be a sort of unsmiling hard ass. Leave it to Meryl to keep surprising.

The first episode of season 2 premieres seven weeks from today!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

First trailer for season 2 of "Big Little Lies"--set to debut on HBO June 9

HBO has revealed its first teaser for season 2 of Big Little Lies:

Yay! We get to see a little more of Meryl toward the end, where her interaction with Reese Witherspoon suggests she's on to the lie the ladies of Monterey have spun to cover up the death of her son, Perry.

Like I'm sure many others, I was expecting the first trailer to be attached to tonight's opening of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones (canNOT wait). Maybe they'll still attach it to the opening of the show tonight. I have to remember that not everyone is freakishly checking for when any news of BLL will be revealed, and most will therefore see the new trailer for the first time when they tune in tonight for the network's juggernaut.

Season 2 debuts on Sunday, June 9.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Alexandre Desplat to score "Little Women"

Two-time Academy Award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat has been tapped to write the musical score to Greta Gerwig's upcoming remake of Little Women. The Frenchman gave a recent interview to an Italian news outlet and apparently stated that this film is one of a few he has in the pipeline. 

Desplat won Academy Awards for The Shape of Water and The Grand Budapest Hotel. 
Among his other credits include The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The King's Speech, the final two Harry Potter films, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. 

Great to hear that Little Women will have such a distinguished artist attached for the music! The film is set for release on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Shoulda Coulda Wouldas #15: "Feud"

A year and a half after my last post in this section, I'm writing only the second Shoulda Coulda Woulda for which I can find no evidence that Meryl was ever considered to be cast. Going back to as early as 2005, Ryan Murphy had snagged Streep to star in an adaptation of John Jeter's play Dirty Tricks. We all know that never came to fruition, and ultimately we've still never seen a pairing of Meryl with TV's reigning titan.

Fast forward to 2016, when Murphy's series Feud was picked up by FX for an eight-episode season. Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange had apparently been tapped to portray the two leads of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, respectively. Back in 2014 I had commented in my reimagined history of Meryl's film career that the film Best Actress seemed like it would be a fantastic project for Meryl and Susan Sarandon. I even speculated that 2018 would be a reasonable time frame for release. Murphy ultimately optioned the script, which had covered the lead up to Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's feud during their filming of 1962's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. 

The series (I'll say limited series because although it was intended to have more than one season, it has not) premiered in March 2017 to high acclaim. As the script had been extended into a eight episodes, we were able to see a far more in-depth, detailed look at the characters and the events that brought everyone together for the production of this now historic film. Particularly, it's a showcase of the antiquated studio system of Hollywood, and how anti-woman it was, much less women over forty.

This all reads like a wonderful project for Meryl. Of course Bette Davis would be a meaty part, but Susan Sarandon has such a likeness to her that the only option would've been Joan Crawford. Crawford was notoriously volatile and a somewhat tragic figure, owing to her troubled, abusive childhood. Part of me wonders if there would have been some raised eyebrows because of how traditionally beautiful she was--a feature that was regularly brought up the series. Jessica Lange certainly fits the bill for that, but how great would it have been to see Meryl super dolled up to be made as "pretty" as possible for the role? Couple that with the intensity of the character and you've got one of the best parts she could probably have asked for in her 60's.

The fact that the best roles for women of a certain generation are increasingly being represented on television, I have to wonder if projects like Feud, American Horror Story, Big Little Lies and The Nix are what we can expect to see most from Meryl in the future. I wouldn't complain. Getting eight hours of her over the course of several months is more to relish than one hundred minutes of a feature film once year.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My film reviews: "The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

Following Meryl's Oscar-winning turn in 1979's Kramer vs Kramer, she apparently told either her manager or publicist to find something really juicy for her. Up to that point, Streep had enjoyed only supporting roles in film, so Karel Reisz's filming of the 1969 novel The French Lieutenant's Woman (John Fowles) became the perfect project for her debut as a leading lady.

The film, like many others, had apparently taken years of rewrites and had to overcome multiple financial obstacles to reach the screen. When it finally got the green light, Meryl was cast along with British actor Jeremy Irons for the dual lead roles of Sarah/Anna and Charles/Mike.

I imagine that one of the draws for Meryl at the time was that the screenplay sort of followed a story within a story. Anna is a film actress having an affair with her co-star, Mike. The film they're working on involves two people involved in a scandalous relationship in Victorian England. In the Victorian sequences, Sarah Woodruff finds herself out of a job as her employer has died. Woodruff has a reputation for having had a previous affair with a French Lieutenant, and as such has become sort of an outcast. Charles, a paleontologist, falls for Sarah, despite his own engagement to another woman.

Charles breaks off his engagement only to discover that Sarah has disappeared. Simultaneously, Anna struggles with how to negotiate her affair with Mike, as she's currently already married to someone else. Sarah has a new job as a governess and eventually writes to Charles. The two sort of reconcile and are seen at the close of the film ending up together. Anna and Mike don't seem to fare as well, as Anna leaves from the film's wrap party with her husband without saying goodbye to Mike.

Whew. It gets a bit tricky delineating the two storylines, and I've give a fairly basic recap of the plot. I struggle to compile my thoughts on how to describe my views on this film. I often tend to approach Meryl's film choices and performances from a perspective of how tickled I am by something new she does, or how unexpected or difficult I imagine the role to be. Meryl herself has been on record that's she's not particularly fond of this performance. Looking back, she apparently found that she never quite knew if she was succeeding at the role. "Was I just the French lieutenant's woman? Or the actress being the French lieutenant's woman? Or the actress being the actress being the French lieutenant's woman?" That question is an interesting one and therefore appealing to me as a viewer and fan.

I suppose we'll never know for sure to what extent any sense of holding back or perhaps what many have criticized as a certain "rigidity" in Meryl's performance as Sarah was her interpretation of Sarah, or her interpretation of how Anna would interpret Sarah. Is that even possible to know? If anyone could figure it out I suspect Meryl at least went into it with some idea. I watched the movie this past weekend with my husband, Joe (who somehow had never been forced to watch it with me before), and he made the comment about how we perhaps get a glimpse into Meryl's magic when she's rehearsing a scene in the film (as Anna) and we see her sort of transform into Sarah. If we want to be convinced of Sarah as a character, I have to think that Meryl made the choice of breathing life into Sarah as well as Meryl the actor could do. Are we to assume that the actress Anna is as good of an actress as Meryl? Would Meryl dare act less well as Sarah because Meryl thought maybe Anna would not be quite as good an actor as Meryl was herself? That's where my brain kind of goes sideways.

Just having to figure that out as an actor is pretty impressive to me. Frankly, it's the only real interesting thing I found in rewatching this. It's pace is incredibly slow. And although it tackles themes of female oppression in Victorian England, I often found myself easily to drifting off into other thoughts.

The film was actually well received by critics groups. It had five Oscar nominations and a staggering eleven BAFTA noms. Meryl won Lead Actress in a Drama at the Golden Globes, as well as for BAFTA. She was the front-runner for the Oscar as well (her first lead nod), but ultimately lost to Katharine Hepburn, who took her record-breaking fourth statuette for her performance in On Golden Pond. Interestingly, having written this post, it's the first time I really considered how if Meryl had won for this film, she'd have three lead actress wins and one supporting, while Katharine Hepburn would have three lead (one being a tie). They currently seem so far apart in their Oscar tallies, but it's wild to think how very close Meryl came to being the standalone top recipient for acting honors from the Academy Awards.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Let's talk about...retirement.

I'm resurrecting an old tag that I haven't posted in for two and a half years! I had ostensibly started the "Let's Talk About..." section to chat about work Meryl has done, but considering the stage her career is nearing, I'm curious to hear people's opinions.

Streep is just a few months shy of her 70th birthday. A lot of years left, one might assume. If we look at some of her contemporaries, many are working well into their 70s and 80s. There has been no greater time to be an actress over 50 in Hollywood than it is now (not that it's great).  And I have to expect that most actors don't think of retirement the same way most of us plebeians do, in that we work and save so that one day we might be able to survive without having the commitment of a job. No, they're doing exactly what they want to be doing. So what's there to retire from?

I suspect that this is how Meryl sees it as well. If the roles are there, she'll keep it up. Yes, she takes breaks, then goes four or five years working on multiple projects successively. But she's also a grandma now, and one wonders if it ever occurs to her that it would be nicer to just hang it up for longer than six to twelve months on occasion.  Granted, not filming anything for, say four years, isn't retirement, but it would be a distinct shift in the pattern we've seen since Meryl got her start in the late 70s.

My speculations are probably out of fear that she would consider putting less out there, as I've become so accustomed to essentially having a new project to look forward to on a yearly basis. What gives me comfort is that if the scripts are out there, Meryl's likely going to be at the top of the list for whom directors want to work with, assuming Meryl fits the demographic of the role. She typically doesn't produce her own stuff, but perhaps if The Nix gets underway it would be a foray into creating roles for herself that she finds interesting and would otherwise not get made.

This year will be a fun one, with Big Little Lies, The Laundromat and Little Women all still to come. But what we can expect from Meryl's future résumé as she enters her eighth decade of life is probably anyone's guess. Here's hoping it's even more fruitful an exciting than the previous seven!

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.

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Big Little Lies" officially returning to HBO in June

Executives at HBO announced today that the second season of Big Little Lies will officially arrive in June. Producer/star Nicole Kidman had previously alluded to that month being the potential return date, and now we have confirmation.

Well, I'm glad we know when it's coming, but I'm sad we have to wait four more months! It's also interesting that the June time frame means the show misses the cutoff for Emmy consideration for the current season. The show (now in Drama Series and not in Limited Series) was likely placed there so as to avoid a clash with awards juggernaut Game of Thrones in its final season. Any Emmy love for BLL will have to wait until 2020, but we could see noms for the Golden Globes and SAGs as early as December of this year.

Can't wait to see more of Meryl! Now time for news of a juicy new project.

Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep

Monday, February 4, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" surpasses $300 million worldwide

Mary Poppins Returns has been in theaters in the U.S. for over six weeks now, and its domestic box office total is a healthy $168 million. Add to that an increasing foreign total of $160m and the film is certifiably a hit, against a $130m budget. Certainly it's going to make a bit more, as it hasn't been in some of the foreign markets for very long, but I post this mostly to make note of the financial success of Meryl's projects over the past year.

Including 2017's The Post, Meryl's last three films have earned a combined total of over $900m worldwide, and as mentioned, Mary Poppins Returns is still growing. Granted, she wasn't in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again or Mary Poppins very much, but it's still not a bad haul to be a part of.

2019 is shaping up to be more a serious(?) year for her on screen, as after the frivolity of Mamma Mia! and Mary Poppins, we're set to see her in the second season of HBO's Big Little Lies, Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and Greta Gerwig's Little Women remake. I don'g expect either film to be box office juggernauts, but I hope they'll be well received by both critics and audiences.

And, of course, we're always looking forward to an announcement of what Meryl's next official project will be. Will they finally get around to The Nix? I think it's about time for some news on something.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Soderbergh's "The Laundromat" to be ready by April

Director Steven Soderbergh told the Hollywood Reporter this weekend that The Laundromat is currently being edited and that it will be complete by the first week of April. Considering the film was just shot in October/November, it's an incredibly rapid turnaround if he's expecting that he'll be handing it over to Netflix by then. Apparently from that point, Netflix will "decide what to do with it."

Essentially what that means is that Netflix will decide when to release the film. My guess is fourth quarter of this year after a very minimal run in theaters to qualify it for certain awards.

It's difficult to discern what Soderbergh is necessarily saying when he stated the film is a "kaleidoscopic take" on the Panama Papers story, but it's nice to read that he's really happy with it. I'm still very much looking forward to finding out exactly how major a role Meryl has in this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" receives four Oscar nominations

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and Mary Poppins Returns received four nominations:

Best Original Song ("The Place Where Lost Things Go")
Best Original Score
Production Design
Costume Design

Sadly, no nod for Emily Blunt, as my predicted five all got in over her for Actress in a Leading Role. While not super surprising, I was disappointed that Timothée Chalamet didn't make the cut in Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell snuck in, as I had predicted might be the case). 

The other two acting categories had big surprise nominees for me. Willem Dafoe was nominated in Lead Actor for At Eternity's Gate, while in probably the biggest shocker, Roma's Marina de Tavira made the cut in Supporting Actress.

The full list of nominees can be seen here.

The Oscars ceremony will be held Sunday, Feb 24 on ABC.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Oscar nomination predictions

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning. As I usually like to do, I'm throw out my predictions in the acting categories. Sadly, I don't think Emily Blunt is going to make the cut for her titular role in Mary Poppins Returns.

Actress in a Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)--lock
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)--lock
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)--lock
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

alt: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale (Vice)--lock
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)--lock
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)--lock
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

alt: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (Vice)--lock
Claire Foy (First Man)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)--lock
Emma Stone (The Favourite)--lock
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)--lock

alt: Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots)

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)--lock
Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliot (A Star is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)--lock

alt: Sam Rockwell (Vice)

I think Mary Poppins Returns may sneak in a couple tech categories like production design or costumes. Should Blunt sneak in and the film itself into Best Picture, it would be a boon for continued box office success, as well as future digital sales.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Accents Mastered updated

Wow! It's been over two and half years since I've updated this tag. I didn't really see the need to list anything for Meryl's performance in The Post. If you happen to think she donned a certain accent to portray Katharine Graham, let me know.

Streep's role in Mary Poppins Returns certainly warrants a post, however. Given that we really don't know for sure where Topsy is supposed to be from, I can't with confidence say exactly what accent Meryl is doing in the film. But, Topsy's full name looks Russian and the accent sounded vaguely Russian (or something Eastern European), so that's what I'm going with. Again, if anyone hears something more specific in her speech, let's hear it.

The updated list is as follows:

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 (I think it's also RP)
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)--Northern Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
Prime (2005)--Manhattan (specifically Upper West Side)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Upper Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (again RP)
August: Osage County (2013)--Oklahoman
The Homesman (2014)--Central Plains Midwestern
Suffragette (2015)--British (Received Pronunciation)
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)--Mid-Atlantic
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)--vaguely Russian

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" receives three BAFTA nominations

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its nominations this morning. Mary Poppins Returns came away with three nominations, in Original Music, Production Design and Costume Design.

I'm sure a lot of people are shocked that Emily Blunt didn't sneak in over Viola Davis for Lead Actress, but I don't think I'm one of them. Yes, had I made a predictions list, I would've guessed Blunt in the top five, but the film, for me, was more about the spectacle. That was recognized by the three nominations it received.

Had the film garnered noms for both Blunt and Best Picture, that would've been quite the feat. This should've been the easiest one for Blunt after the Musical/Comedy Globe, however, so the chances of her name being mentioned the morning Oscar nominations are announced is looking pretty slim.

In other categories, aside from Davis's nod, I was disappointed to see Regina King's name out of the mix for Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk. I'm guessing Margot Robbie snuck in over her for Mary Queen of Scots. I'll be interested to how Glenn Close fares here. If she wins the SAG over Olivia Colman, I think Close's Oscar chances will still be in tact even if Colman wins BAFTA.  If Close wins BAFTA, I don't see how she loses Oscar.

The BAFTA Awards will be presented on February 10.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New (brief) clip from "Big Little Lies" and reaction to the Globes

Last night during the Golden Globes, HBO revealed a trailer for many of its upcoming shows this winter/spring. Included in that was a very brief clip of Meryl and the rest of the cast. Start at 0:26 if you want to bypass some of the other stuff.

Still no definitive date on when we can expect the second season to be premiered.

Now to the Globes. Overall fairly underwhelming as far as the ceremony went. Andy Sandberg and Sandra Oh were fine, not super funny.  I REALLY miss Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. 

Probably the biggest shocks were Bohemian Rhapsody winning Best-Picture-Drama and Rami Malek winning for his role in the film as Freddie Mercury. I haven't seen it yet, but it hasn't done super well with critics, despite it's enormous box office performance. I figured Bradley Cooper had the upper hand here, both for director and picture.

I was thrilled that Glenn Close took the trophy for Lead Actress in a Drama (The Wife). At this point, as Olivia Colman won in Comedy for The Favourite (incidentally over Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns), I think this is sort of down to a two-person race. Had Lady Gaga won for A Star is Born, I think she'd still stand a chance for the Oscar. SAG will be a big night for the Lead Actress category. I really like Olivia Colman, but am pulling for Close.

BAFTA nominations will be announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

"Big Little Lies" coming in June?(!)

So, only a day after I posted my expectation for season two of Big Little Lies being released around March, we now have Nicole Kidman quoted as saying she thinks it's not coming out until June.

June? JUNE?! That's so far away! And it would surprise me that they would chose to release it essentially eleven months before the 2019-20 Emmy deadline. The only reason I can think for this would be to avoid matchups against other high-profile shows or actors. Game of Thrones, in its last season, is probably going to be a huge contender. But I doubt if season three of The Crown is going to be ready before May 31 this year, so if BLL doesn't come out until after that, then the two will go head-to-head, with Olivia Colman likely leading the race in Lead Actress in a Drama. 

Of course it's not a done deal, as HBO is mum on the official date. The sooner the better, please!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking ahead to 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a great 2018. Looking back on the year Meryl had, it was generally pretty quiet as far as releases go. Yes, she was honored with her 21st Oscar nomination for The Post, but her only two screen roles were both for sequels: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns. While her performances in both movies were small, the two films themselves were/are fairly high-profile, particularly when it comes to their respective box office returns. Mamma Mia! had a worldwide total of almost $400 million, while Mary Poppins, currently in theaters, is likely to fair similarly well.

2019 should be a very different year in terms of Meryl's roles, however. The 'big one' will likely be Big Little Lies, in which she portrays Mary Louise Wright, mother-in-law to Nicole Kidman's character, Celeste. I think I posted at one point that I expected a trailer for the HBO series in the fall, but thus far all we've had are some pics and a brief action shot of Streep in a teaser promotion. There is still no official word on when the second (and likely final) season will premiere, but there's been buzz that it will land in March. Considering it's seven episodes, all of which Meryl is apparently in by the way, it's highly unlikely to be much later, as they'll want it to wrap up before Emmy deadlines on May 31st. Meryl's role is said to be juicy, and with the shear scope and popularity of the show, this may be the key performance of her year.

Next fall we'll get to see her in two separate films, Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and Greta Gerwig's remake of Little Women. Both films have wrapped, with Laundromat's release date yet to be finalized. I'm not sure if it will be released in theaters at the same time it goes to Netflix, but I imagine it'll be fourth quarter. All signs point to Streep's role being a supporting one. When it was first announced that she had joined the cast, it was said that her character would be the "emotional through-line" of the picture. I'm guessing she plays one of the people who are defrauded by the firm Mossack Fonseca. Maybe we'll see her a bit at the beginning of the film, and then her plight will be the undercurrent of what the rest of the film is based upon, in that the firm is found to be an enormous front for money laundering and fraud.

Little Women will hit theaters on Christmas Day. The cast of course is highly touted, but by all accounts, Meryl's role as Aunt March may be a very minor one. Not that that's necessarily bad, as it's good when she's in seemingly great projects with good directors, but of course it's always nice to see her more prominently showcased in lead roles.

And I know she also has the Martin Scorsese project with Sharon Stone lined up, but until we have more definitive info on what it's actually about, my assumption will continue to be that it's not actually a narrative feature film where Meryl is playing a role, but more of a salutatory retrospective on someone's Robert De Niro.

Which brings us to probably my favorite part of blogging: potential future projects. IMDbPro currently only lists The Nix as "Projects in Development" for Streep. It's been over two years since it was announced that she would not only star in but produce a limited series based on Nathan Hill's hit debut novel. Another possible (prominent?) supporting role, but might we see this put into production sometime this spring or summer? I hope so. Other than that, we have no
confirmed projects or interests from team Streep. I maintain that The Good House would be a fantastic project, but as it's been over five years since that was announced, the further out it's pushed, the less likely it seems it will happen. Were Nyad a possibility, filming it this year would be prefect timing for a summer 2020 release, sentimentally coinciding with the schmaltzy coverage of the Olympics.

As always, time will tell how her performances this year will be received, as well as what we can expect for future projects. Regardless, I'm excited for the next twelve months!

What do you guys think? Any roles you want to throw out there as suggestions or predictions of what we might see Meryl tackle in the next few years?