Mercifully, after the last FOUR heavy-hitting rounds, we have the easiest fucking no-brainer. Do I even have to explain myself?
"Out of Africa" was a thousand hours long, Meryl's accent was distracting, it was racist AF, and I fell asleep during it. Twice.
But I don't want to focus on the negative. "She-Devil" was A GODDAMN DELIGHT. Meryl could've easily looked at this role as a throwaway, as an easy chance to phone it in and make a few bucks by merely showing up and putting on the outfit (LIKE SHE DID IN "INTO THE WOODS").
But she DIDN'T. There is a *hint* of Smart Bitch that we will later see fleshed out more in "Devil Wears Prada," and there are some obvious strokes of Ruthless Bitch that will be perfected come "August: Osage County." But this is a particular combination loud, rich, smart, and ruthless that can only be surmised as: The Spoiled Bitch.
I've discussed at length how "spoiled" can be negatively translated into "shrill," but this is only when the Meryl in question rolls over and lets herself be taken advantage of. In "She-Devil," she's putting up the fight of her life, and it's everything that Shannon Doherty's Heather and Rachel McAdam's Regina George could ever hope to become. AND I AM FUCKING HERE FOR IT.
Also, do yourself a favor and read this excellent NY Times article that came out during the release of "She-Devil" (below). It is pre-Pro-Trump-Roseanne, making it deliciously outdated, and it truly encapsulates the spirit of why I'm doing this bracket at all: "Meryl is such a brilliant actress, she could have played [either role]."
And just as important, a Very Special Shout Out to Susan Seidelman, because THERE SHOULD BE MORE FEMALE DIRECTORS MAKING AMAZING MOVIES AND WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US.
So without any further ado, #3 of THE GREAT EIGHT is...