Friday, August 28, 2009

Sophie's Link

Meryl Streep brings endless funny. Have you read "name one masterpiece of cinema that I've starred in"? Hat tip to reader Cal for alerting me. Since this article appears in The Onion, it's Meryl Streep or "Meryl Streep" but both are equally awesome. One can certainly imagine the real Streep taking these shots at her self. She's always been fond of the self-deprecating zingers that somehow pretzel themselves until they're self-aggrandazing.

Of course, next Sophie's Choice comes up. Sure. Absolutely. That makes complete sense. But have you actually watched Sophie's Choice lately? Boy, talk about a movie that has not aged well. My performance is very good. No question. Oscar-worthy even...

So now is when you have to start really digging into my filmography because you're starting to think, "Can it be true that one of this generation's greatest actresses, maybe even the greatest—a national treasure, you might say—has never been in a film as good as Network, which isn't even Faye Dunaway's best movie?"

Ha. That's so true. Faye had quite the run. But... is it true? Does Meryl really not have her very own classic? P.S. The line about The Devil Wears Prada is killer.


More Linkage
Cinema Blend Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen as bloodsuckers. I still weep that something as boring as The Twilight Saga will be "entertaining" us for years to come, but at least they're recruiting decent actors now that they won the lottery
Stareast Asia Zhang Ziyi engulfed in shoulder pads. Have you accepted that Ziyi is now more of a model than an actress. Maybe that's always how you've thought of her? You're smart
Topless Robot is Green Lantern doomed? I love Topless Robot. They're so self aware. This line from the highly speculative post is a beaut. It's a line which would never be typed on other genre loving fanboy sites but which belongs on all of them
But if I don't make wild, unfounded accusations about things I know nothing about, I feel like I'm not doing my job.
babblebook contemplates the catharsis of Inglourious Basterds. Great post
Cinephilia imagines Pitt & Jolie receiving the Inglourious call. The punchline to the scene is pretty great
Socialite's Life George Clooney breaks his hand. Damn, that man is fragile
PopCrunch Liz Taylor loves RuPaul?

Oh, Anne...
My nearly beloved Anne Heche (if only she'd get the good roles...) is back in, uh, form. Did you see her on Letterman? Now I think it's a terrible terrible terrible thing for a celebrity to diss a civilian on national television --manners, Celestia, manners!-- But that said, I like my Anne crazy, so I loved this.



Against my better judgment.

Finally
It's been ages since I've been to the popular flash site Homestar Runner for a Strong Bad e-mail but I clicked over this morning to watch a short comic bit on "indie film" vs. independent film. Back in the day --when? don't remember-- I wrote Strong Bad an e-mail asking something or other about movies but quickly realized it was a mistake and my e-mail would never be used to animate an episode because the world of Homestar Runner tends not to really deal with reality as we know it in. There's very little in the way of dated pop culture references / jokes. But, I guess Strong Bad is closer to planet Earth now that he's dissing art films and Hollywood poseurs and getting little visual digs in at Juno among other things.

42 comments:

dusty said...

You know, I think it's actually a good point about Meryl's no-classic status. Working under the assumption that it takes more than just awesome performance to make a movie a classic, which of hers constitute "classic" status? I could see Adaptation headed that way, in time, but otherwise? Deer Hunter? Manhattan?

I just don't see audiences now, let alone audiences in fifty years, attending midnight screenings of Out of Africa or Kramer Vs. Kramer or or Doubt or Music of the Heart or even Sophie's Choice?

It's actually a disconcerting thought.

Encore Entertainment said...

I've come to believe it's a have one or the other thing because even though Meryl Streep has not starred in any classics she's starred in a string Best Picture Oscar winners [and nominees]. On the other Katharine Hepburn has starred in a string of classics but not ONE single of her films has won best picture. Curious.

PS. That Brad/Angie thing was hilarious...I feel bad...I mean it's not real but so wicked.

and about Zhang>>>ouch!

chris na Taraja said...

I was wondering when Dakota Fanning was going to turn bad. that's good!

POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE is a classic in my book.

Wayne B. said...

"Have you accepted that Ziyi is now more of a model than an actress. Maybe that's always how you've thought of her? You're smart"

I guess I'm just dim because I'm still holding out for another 2046-level performance. :)

J.D. said...

Have you accepted that Ziyi is now more of a model than an actress. Maybe that's always how you've thought of her? You're smart

Why must you hurt me, Nat?

NATHANIEL R said...

i wsa on the ZIYI train. and i nominated her for 2046 (wowza) but that Memoirs performance haunts in its blank modelness... and i guess i'm sick of waiting for her to be in a big/good film again.

chris -- i think meryl does have a few classics, yes. but it's true that she doesn't have a definitive one that's really hers. Sophie's Choice is just frankly not very good outside of her stellar work. But she elevates it considerably.

her best movies?
MANHATTAN, KRAMER VS KRAMER, SILKWOOD, THE HOURS, ANGELS IN AMERICA, POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE... maybe?

i miss my streep retrospective. i wish i could find time to finish :(

NicksFlickPicks said...

Silkwood. She's cool. That movie is better than Network.

The Deer Hunter and Manhattan, too, though they were so early and her roles were so small that it feels like a stretch. Adaptation was a strong attempt. But it's true, I've long had this beef with her (even if it's totally stingy and pointless to have imaginary beef with Meryl).

Jordan Wellin said...

What? MANHATTAN isn't a classic? Meryl, it's Woody's best film!

NicksFlickPicks said...

And The Bridges of Madison County, for chrissakes! Bridges > Network any day of any week.

Wayne B. said...

I definitely would put Adaptation and Death Becomes Her into a Top 5 along with Angels in America, Deer Hunter and Silkwood.

J.D. said...

@Nat: Admittedly, so am I. I seemed to have...stopped caring, like everyone else. I just hate it that whenever she DOES come up it's always commenting about her apparent uselessness. I've more or less grown out of her and onto bigger and better things (Gong Li, La Cheung, etc) but I still yearn for the beautiful times of CTHD/HOFD/2046. :(

adam k. said...

Umm... Silkwood, anyone? Why does that not count? Angels in America? Sure, it's technically "TV" but I think it's generally regarded as the epitome of a "classic." And it's LONGER than a movie, so in a way it's even better.

You need an epic romance? Okay. Out of Africa.

There's also Manhattan and Kramer and Deer Hunter... though her roles are smallish, those all qualify.

Postcards from the Edge is a classic to some of us. Devil Wears Prada is as good as mainstream popcorn films get.

I mean, I get how she's made a lot of middlebrow pap in between bulseyes, but let's not pretend her career isn't still littered with all-time greats.

Full disclosure: counting Angels, I own 7 (!) Meryl Streep films and love all of them (except Sophie which I still had to buy just to own Streep's greatest perf).

adam k. said...

Honestly I think a lot of the reason for this attitude is that Streep generally prefers "softer" more feminine films, and in typical film culture, those are not as highly regarded. Sure she wasn't in a Chinatown or Godfather or Network or whatever other war or gangster flick where people scream at each other in dramatic lighting. But there are other types of classics, too.

That, and she should work with more auteurs. That is a legitimate point.

Fernando Moss said...

I f*****g love Mery Strepp!!! She's f*****g amazing!!!

And I really join everyone who has said Silkwood is HER classic... i think is her Best Film and one of her 2 best performances (the other being Postcards for me)

Anonymous said...

Okay, Dakota fanning has looked the same for years, is she even growing?
Has Meryl Streep ever been married?
I don't think she's ever been in her classic film, shes been in great movies but not classic. There's a sea of great movies but hers don't stick out, they're only slightly remembered cause she's in them.

Adam said...

Thanks so much for that link!
I love her, "I don't need your charity," response to "The Devil Wears Prada."

Its those things that make Meryl Streep the legend she is. Her wit and skill surpass all. She's always outstanding even in a bland movie like "The Devil Wears Prada" or (dear god...) "Mamma Mia." She's such a class act that she doesn't need a classic film to catapult her. That's real star power.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

*Sigh* The bit about Prairie Home stings. I think it's one of Altman's masterpieces, just behind Nashville (and Nashville is my favorite film, period).

Marcin said...

Love Meryl's article.

But! "The hours" is that one film.

Stella said...

The Brad Pitt dialogue just made my day. Thank you so much.

Speaking of feisty celebs and Twilight, have you heard about Lauren Bacall's Twitter account and how she almost knocked her granddaughter over the head for showing her Twilight?

Anonymous said...

Meryl didn't write the article, guys. It's the Onion.

Andy said...

Hey, that article is fake. It appeared in The Onion!! You are so naive! She wouldn't have a discussion of her career at home with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. I thought it was funny though. But it wasn't written by Meryl Streep.

Ironjohn said...

Couldn't disagree more with dusty.

Kyle said...

Best movie Meryl was ever in: Defending your life

I can watch that anytime it comes on.

JA said...

When I first read that article I thought the brushing off of both Deer Hunter and Manhattan was suspect but now, thinking about it more, I get it; that they aren't HER films.

But I don't know why Silkwood didn't occur to me - that is a classic film and really ought to be celebrated more as such. Even outside of her fine performance, it's a perfectly structured and told story that gets better with each viewing. But you can't argue that that's not Meryl's movie either, through and through. It might actually be my favorite performance of hers.

And Adaptation will be a classic the minute we have enough distance to bestow such a thing upon it. I do wish she'd work with great directors like Spike Jonze more often though.

Alex said...

I, for one, consider "Kramer vs. Kramer" a classic. Same goes for "Manhattan."

"Silkwood" is pretty much a classic, right?

I think some of her more recent work like "Adaptation" and "the Hours" will be considered classics in time.

If "Roots" is a classic, "Angels in America" will surely be a classic in 15 years or so.

Styx said...

I think the fact that Meryl has elevated the seemingly mediocre to works resembling greatness is something that should be noted and applauded. There's quite a few of her films where they wouldn't be worth mentioning beyond the Oscar nods, and at least that's something to take away for posterity. "Music of the Heart"? "Postcards from the Edge"? "Prada"? I'll make many allowances for "Sophie's Choice" for example just b/c of that monumental performance she gave in it. I was watching "Bridges of Madison County" a while back and thought, wow, she really made some sweet lemonade out of some sour lemons there. And "Angels in America" will always be a masterpiece in my book, television be damned. But if she ever gets around to it, she needs to find Mike Nichols again, or some kind of auteur that can bring out some real late-career greatness out of her. This "Julie & Julia" nonsense isn't really cutting it. Could you imaging Meryl in a Lars von Trier film? My God.

Billy Held An Oscar said...

I have Heartburn on DVD. Is that such a bad thing?

Victor S said...

And here we are again at the same point: Meryl's lack of Auteur Lust.
A totally agree: Put her on the hands of a Von Trier, an Almodovar (can she do in spanish? I wouldn't be surprised)or Todd Haynes and she gets a double win: Her classic and another Oscar.

Anonymous said...

maybe when meryl Streep,uh, dies her movies will be more recognized, maybe? I guess its true, she doesn't have a classic. Anytime I see a list of classics or hear/read a movie conversation her movies are never mentioned.

Marsha Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marsha Mason said...

This onion article has gotten enough play on the internet that I'll bet Meryl's seen it herself. (She saw the references to her in "The Hours" before she played the character seeing her.) Maybe it's just the kick in the pants she needs to go von Trier or Campion.

BeRightBack said...

Yes, that is obviously not actually Meryl. But what an interesting provocation for discussion this has been anyway!

I think they didn't mention Silkwood because it is, indeed, her "classic." I also agree with whomever mentioned Adaptation.

You know what's also confounding? The amount of classic films Nicholas Cage has been in, seemingly in spite of himself - Leaving Las Vegas, Wild at Heart, Raising Arizona, Adaptation - its almost better than Meryl's list of highs. But hen you avrage in the, um, other stuff....

Alex said...

What I don't get is that Meryl actually does work with auteurs. Woody Allen, Spike Jonze, Mike Nichols, and Jonathan Demme (though that one doesn't really count...) all come to mind.

In one of the podcasts, Nick said that Jane Campion offered her the role of Merle in "The Portrait of a Lady" but she turned it down (don't remember why). Just think what someone really weird like Capion or Darren Aronofsky could do with Meryl Streep.

RJ said...

Funnily enough, I think Meryl's masterpiece has to be Angels in America. It was a TV movie, but it was certainly a masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

wow, she's not afraid to brag but then again, she's meryl Streep.

brandz said...

'angels in america', hands down. people often forget 'holocaust', for some reason.

cal roth said...

I brought you the link, but I disagree with "Meryl". The Bridges of Madison County is a classic. It was even chosen the best movie of the 90's by Cahiers do Cinema! Did you know that?

NATHANIEL R said...

I did not know that but I certainly can't agree.

cal roth said...

Here are the Cahiers list by year. can't find a single Streep movie except for Madison County. http://migre.me/63k3

brandz said...

have people seen this? interesting.

OSCARS CHIEFS 'STRUGGLE' OVER BEST ACTRESS NODMERYL STREEP has already been tipped to pick up the Best Actress Academy Award in 2010 - because Oscars bosses are unimpressed with other female roles in recent movies.
The Oscars chiefs are allegedly concerned over the lack of stunning performances by actresses this year, and are said to be struggling to find a decent list of nominees.
It means Streep, who received a Best Actress nomination at the 2009 ceremony for Doubt, is favourite to pick up her third Academy Award next February (10).
An Oscars insider tells Britain's Daily Express, "It's only just dawning that there's a distinct lack of potentials in the Best Actress category. Not that there have been terrible performances, far from it, it's just that there have been very few good leading roles for women.
"It's been a pretty lacklustre year for movies in general but it seems that no one wrote any decent lead roles for women. There are many to choose from when it comes to supporting actresses but very few in the lead. It looks like Meryl Streep may do it again as she has played the lead to acclaim in two films out this year."
Other names suggested for nomination reportedly include Hilary Swank for Amelia, Emily Blunt's portrayal in The Young Victoria, and Penelope Cruz for Broken Embraces.




28 August 2009 12:16



http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/oscars-chiefs-struggle-over-best-actress-nod_1114292

Peter said...

Hilarious article, although clearly not actually by Meryl. I have not seen Silkwood but agree with other commentors that Adaptation is a great, great film. All the others, eh. (Except the person who mentioned Defending Your Life -- love it!)

Anonymous said...

" Zhang Ziyi engulfed in shoulder pads"

LOL Sad. Her film SC really bombed in China and got bad reviews. Guess they are getting sick of her....finally.