Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Results of poll #14

A big thank-you to all those who took the survey and/or commented on this latest post. I was pleasantly surprised by the interaction and examples folks communicated on which role they each felt was most underrated for Meryl. The top five scorers were:

The Hours (21.95%)
Doubt (12.2%)
Plenty (9.76%)
Ironweed (9.76%)
Marvin's Room (7.32%)

It's pretty easy to see why The Hours was ranked number one. Meryl's performance was so sensitive and layered, and she got overshadowed by Nicole Kidman's turn as Virginia Woolf. I think Meryl's exceptional reviews for Adaptation that same year sort of contributed to the tendency toward less attention on her performance as Clarissa Vaughan in The Hours. From an awards standpoint, Clarissa was likely more the lead character than was Virginia, but it's tough with basically three roles splitting up the movie. It could've gone either way, and Kidman's was the more transformative role. 

Totally agree with Doubt too! Yes, she was nominated for it, but she gets dragged for it being too hammy. I think it's a stunning performance that few could've come close to giving it the justice Meryl did. I love Plenty and in a year other than the same year as Out of Africa, Streep would've gotten a lot more attention. Ironweed's great, just not a lot of people saw it (although she ended up getting nominated). And yes, her performance/role in Marvin's Room might not be as baity as Diane Keaton's (fun fact--Meryl was originally going to play Bessie with Anjelica Huston playing Lee), but I love that Meryl played Lee, as up to that point she's portrayed the suffering one so often. It was great to see her rather flawed and even somewhat unkind or cold in the mid 90s, and not in a comedic way. Overlooked, no question.  

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