Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Poll #10: Which Streep film or performance left you particularly disappointed?

Now that I've rekindled the polls, I'm adding one that at first glance might seem a bit uncharacteristic for the tone of this blog. A commenter had suggested doing a poll of where "Meryl underperformed by public opinion." I think this isn't a bad idea to explore. As much as I'm consistently astounded by Streep's performances, there are definitely films that I've gotten supper jazzed about seeing, only to have my expectations not met. Whether it be the role itself, the quality of the film, critical or box office success, or (very rarely) how Meryl approached a certain aspect of the character, there have been times I wish I'd seen a different outcome. 

The below list is obviously not exhaustive. I just chose a number of films that weren't exactly unanimous gems. I'm sure some folks may choose something not on the list, or even one of her most lauded performances, for reasons that are special to them. I just like to hear the discussion. As in the last poll, I'll leave my answer for the results post next week. 

Fire away!


  1. Great question Jeff. I chose "August: Osage County" as I felt it could have been a better movie in more experienced hands than the Director and editors. What should have been a meaty, quintessential Streep character was watered down by removing key scenes and becoming an abbreviated ​domestic dramedy.

    SimilarIy, I believe "Doubt" would have been a masterpiece of American cinema in more skilled hands, though I contend Meryl was robbed that year. Her Sister Alolysious was stunning.

    I'm disappointed that the two latter day movie versions of "great American plays" weren't better executed and received. Feels like missed opportunities.

    I have always thought Meryl could not have been better embodying Margaret Thatcher and deserved her Oscar, in spite of a quite poorly written screenplay and inept direction. Imagine how great "The Iron Lady" could have been with more insightful and experienced writing and direction. Her performance is a jewel wrapped in an amateur attempt. As good as Gillian Anderson was as Margaret Thatcher in "The Crown", how great would Meryl have been in a well written mini-series really delving into The Iron Lady's rise and fall?

    "Before And After" could have been a very interesting domestic drama but, as Meryl said, was sucked of any life by the Director. Forgettable.

    "The Giver" was a waste of her time.

    I contend "Ricki And The Flash" is underrated. Admittedly, it could have been written better with more focus given to Ricki's time with her children and insight into how her leaving impacted the family as a whole. It was unfocused and a tad superficial with little of the searing wit Diablo Cody demonstrated in her gem "Young Adult". Still, it's fairly entertaining and Meryl deserved more credit for her performance.

    Meryl had some great scenes in Big Little Lies, especially to reel us in at the start, but her role (and the season) could have been better written and given her more to do. Meryl is left with the unthankful task of playing pantomime villain who, through sheer talent, makes us empathise with her (courtroom scenes and ending).

    Music Of The Heart was well intentioned and acted, but bloated.

    I was surprised Meryl considers "The French Lieutenant's Woman" to be one of her disappointments, I thought she did really well in two challenging roles.

    With "The Prom" I was one of the many who thought James Corden lowered the tone and someone like Nathan Lane would have raised the bar.

    1. For me, it was The Manchurian Candidate, not because of acting, but the significance of the role.

      For Oscar getting robbed, I agreed with Doubt. Oscar voters are always obsessed with RomCom actresses. They have to give the award away to them in their one and only attempt. The obvious victims were Meryl (in 2002,2009) and Cate Blanchett (in 1999.

      Also Meryl was robbed in French Lieutenant's Woman and Out of Africa. 3 Leads and 1 Supporting. And this may be unpopular one but Kay Graham was better than the winner in 2017 too.

  2. I can't believe people are voting for August Osage County