Monday, February 28, 2022

Streep at the SAGs

Although Don't Look Up lost out to the cast of CODA in the ensemble category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, it was nice to see that Meryl was in attendance. She joined co-stars Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett to present the clip for their film. 

Meryl looks great! I might be crazy but I feel like usually when she's this trim she's either just finished filming something or is about to start. I know Extrapolations might have wrapped for her recently, but I'm just hoping and wishing that she's going to start something this spring for a late 2022 release. 

She also got to snap a pic with the night's Lifetime Achievement honoree, Dame Helen Mirren, as well as getting a shout out from Marlee Matlin during the acceptance speech for CODA's ensemble win (2:08 below).  

I love when she ends up playing a sort of a supporting role in awards shows, even if she isn't nominated in an individual category. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Will Meryl be cast in the upcoming screen adaptation of Hillary Clinton's novel?

Late last week, multiple sources announced that Hillary Clinton's recent novel, State of Terror, has been acquired for development into a feature film. I have to admit that I wasn't even aware Clinton had published a novel. But she has, it's gotten strong reviews, and now it's being executive produced by Clinton and her co-author, Louise Penny, along with Clinton's production company HiddenLight Productions and Gigi Pritzker's Madison Wells. A short blurb from the article: 

"This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue follows novice Secretary of State Ellen Adams, who is unexpectedly brought into the administration by a newly-elected President, her political and personal adversary. Events soon erupt that sweep her into a world of global intrigue and diplomacy where the stakes could not be higher and the potential consequences, both personal and global, could not be greater."

It's not hard to figure out where Clinton got her inspiration for the story. And it seems like it could be a juicy role for a woman over 50. In one description I read, they described Ellen as "middle-aged," but the character also has an adult daughter who now runs her media empire. Any concern of Streep potentially being too old for the part might not be a huge problem. Clinton was 65 when she left the office of Secretary of State in 2017. Meryl, even if the film were not to shoot for another two years (I have not even seen a screenwriter attached at this point), would be close to 75. Still doable, as she can easily play parts ten years younger. While not a true biopic, this project wouldn't be completely unlike when she filmed The Devil Wears Prada, a story adapted from a novel, which in turn was loosely based on real people. 

It would be an intriguing character, and the kind of political story Meryl has occasion to involve herself with. She and Clinton are friends (or at least friendly), so I can't imagine her name won't at least come up in the casting conversation, if it hasn't already. Places, Please was announced one year ago this coming Friday, with zero follow up info on the film's status since. Without any other projects confirmed or rumored, I'll be doing a lot of speculating in the coming weeks/months about possible projects. I would be thrilled if we learn that Places, Please is set to film this spring with a late 2022 release. Then we'll maybe get casting news on State of Terror sometime later this year. And if we throw in a true biopic (see any of the amazing options from Poll #13), that's an original screenplay, a novel adaptation, and a biopic all in a row in lead parts. 

Let the powers that be get to work! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Results of poll #13

Three weeks ago, I posted a poll question of whom folks would like to see Meryl portray in a biopic. The results are as follows:

Eleanor Roosevelt (29.03%)

Greta Garbo (16.13%)

Jane Goodall (12.9%)

Marie Curie (9.68%)

Helen Keller (9.68%)

Susan B. Anthony (6.45%)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (6.45%)

Hillary Clinton (3.13%)

Helen Suzman (3.23%)

other (3.22%)

I chose Greta Garbo. We all of course know of Garbo in the early days of Hollywood film making. But there's not a lot out there about how exactly she spent her time after retiring from the screen at a rather young age. A couple of years ago, I read the Barry Paris biography Garbo, and couldn't help but picture a feature film that speculated on the later years of Garbo's reclusive life in New York City.  And Meryl would get to do a Swedish accent! 

Eleanor Roosevelt would be a great one too. Of course it would have to be her later years, most likely after FDR passed, when Eleanor would've been 60. I've always thought it would be interesting to cover her relationship with reporter Lorena Hickock, which was rumored to be romantic. A while back I had thought how fun it would be to pair Miriam Margolyes with Meryl as the pair (I save Kathy Bates for the role of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in a biopic of Susan B. Anthony). We already have a taste of what Meryl would sound like as Eleanor, as she voiced her in the Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts in 2014. It's a very distinct voice. Showtime is premiering a series entitled The First Lady sometime this year, with Gillian Anderson portraying Roosevelt. Maybe since Anderson portrayed the TV version of Margaret Thatcher in The Crown and Meryl the film version in The Iron Lady, they could do something similar with Eleanor. One can dream. 

Time will only tell if we get to see Meryl portray any of the above amazing women...or someone no one has thought of! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

"Don't Look Up" receives four Academy Award nominations

The nominees for the 94th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and Don't Look Up came away with four: 

Best Picture
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score
Best Film Editing

With this slate of nominations, it makes it three out of the last five years that Meryl has been in a Best Picture nominee, following 2017's The Post (for which she also received a Best Actress nomination) and 2019's Little Women. It also unfortunately ties her longest streak without being nominated for an acting award. The last time she went four consecutive years without getting a nod was 1991-1994. Unless she somehow has a film released this year and gets nominated (which I maintain is not an impossibility if Places, Please (or something else) is filmed this spring and is released fourth quarter), she will break that streak. 

I was hoping Leonardo DiCaprio would sneak in to the top five in Best Actor, but I think Javier Bardem snatched that last spot, deservedly. I also thought the "Just Look Up" might get a nod for Best Original Song, but it also failed to crack the list. 

The most-nominated films were The Power of the Dog (12 nominations), Dune (10), and both Belfast and West Side Story (7 apiece). 

Biggest surprises to me:

-Judi Dench over Caitriona Balfe for Actress in a Supporting Role (both in Belfast)
-No Ruth Negga in Supporting Actress (Passing)
-Jessie Buckley in Supporting Actress (The Lost Daughter)
-No Lady Gaga in Actress (The House of Gucci)
-J.K. Simmons in Supporting Actor (Being the Ricardos)

The Oscars ceremony will be held Sunday, March 27 in Los Angeles. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

"Don't Look Up" receives four BAFTA nominations

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its nominees for film this morning. Don't Look Up came away with four nominations:

Best Picture

Best Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Best Original Screenplay (Adam McKay)

Best Original Score (Nicholas Britell)

I think these are about what I was expecting. I don't think I would've been shocked had DiCaprio been left off the list. At this point, I would be shocked if the film didn't crack the list of nominees on Tuesday for Best Picture. Screenplay and Score obviously look good as well, and Leo may have solidified himself for the top five. 

Some surprises (or maybe "shockers" is a better word). Spencer getting ZERO nominations. Denis Villeneuve snubbed in director. No Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman (what?!), Kirsten Dunst. Other than the Dunst snub, The Power of the Dog did very well, as did Dune. I was happy to see the love for Ann Dowd in Mass. That was my favorite performance of the year. 

I expect we'll see some (more) surprises on Tuesday!