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.