Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Wish list #13: Madeleine Albright

While it's been fun to see Meryl out and about as of late (I'll wait to post until we get a high-quality video of her presenting at Nicole Kidman's AFI tribute), we Streepers continue to mourn the dearth of screen projects in the pipeline. Yes, we have the fourth season of Only Murders in the Building coming up later this year, but that's pretty small potatoes when considering the heft of projects we're used to getting from her. Speculations on whether or not she's semi or fully retiring abound. I'm in the camp of believing that she's very likely going to continue to act, and that she's simply waiting on her next project to get underway and to be announced. So, in the meantime, I'll continue to post about Meryl's roles that only live in my head. One of these days we'll all get pleasantly surprised when she ends up being announced in something I or we have predicted, sort of like The Post

In early 2022, I posted a series of six suggestions of adaptations of novels that I thought would be reasonable fits for Meryl to star. Around that time, I also posted a poll of whom readers would most like to see Meryl portray in a biopic. Eleanor Roosevelt, Greta Garbo, and Jane Goodall were the top three. While any of those would be wonderful, I'm adding another to the list. 

A few months ago, I read a book about people who grew up in North Korea, some who eventually escaped (Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea). I followed that with Madeleine Albright's memoir Madam Secretary. I was interested in the latter primarily because of Albright's visit to North Korea in the last year of her tenure as the first female Secretary of State of the United States. Albright was around 63 during the visit, but pictures suggest that Meryl would likely have no issue believably portraying her if a project came together within the next few years. 

Albright with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il

Albright was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and emigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was 11. With a life and career as long as hers, I think it would be interesting to focus on a specific period, like the one in 2000 where she went to North Korea on a state visit. It's often difficult for me to believe that societies like North Korea still exist. It's rarely depicted in media and onscreen, and it would be a fascinating event to depict. Just the scene where they held a welcome spectacle in a stadium that fit 100,000 people would be an incredible scene to create. 

I find it interesting to consider the possibility that if Donald Trump is frighteningly reelected this November, a film depicting a woman diplomat visiting a dictatorship would have it's own sort of chilling parallel to our times. That is, after all, what Trump aspires to...being a "supreme leader" in the vein of tyrants like Kim and Trump's role model, old Vlad Putin. 

Albright is in her own right a sometimes divisive and controversial figure (military tactics, religion, her role and comments during the Kosovo War). But a biopic is never interesting if you're depicting someone who was perfect. I, for one, would be the first in line to buy a ticket to see Streep in a film tackling all of Albrights strengths and weaknesses. Who else is better at getting to the heart of someone's humanity than Meryl? 


  1. The long wait has sapped my confidence. Where is the new program.


  3. You could just write that they finally officially announced she’s getting the Cannes Honorary Palme lol