If this were a competition on Best Meryl Movies, this would be a no-brainer. But it isn't. It's about performance. And however silly and dumb Devil Wears Prada may have been as a film, Meryl's performance in it was no fucking joke.
In this five minute clip of Adaptation alone (below), Meryl gives us more range and depth than many of her films combined. AND IT'S MY FAVORITE KIND: Bare Meryl. Stripped down. No character shit, no accents, no fantasy or sci-fi. There's a time and place for all those - they're not inherently wrong, nor do they necessarily imply a less talented performance (Death Becomes Her is in the Great Eight, I obviously fucking love the surreal).
But let's put it this way: when a director auditions an actor for a role, the actor doesn't have the luxury of the costumes, make up, music, set, or special affects. It's just them, alone on a bare stage, or sitting in front of a camera before a bare wall - because to truly weigh the required talent of an actor for a particular role, that is all you need: just them and their chutzpah.
To be fair, Meryl could've pulled Miranda Priestly out of her ass without the Witch Mommy haircut or the Big Dick Energy Desk or even the presence of Eternally Befuddled Anne What's Her Face. Her performance is deafening, and she never raises her voice. That is a skill that takes years of honing.
I referenced the "Cerulean Blue Monologue" in the original post, but here it is in it's entirety. It really starts going around 0:30.
DAMNNNNNNN that last little up-and-down look she gives Bland Hathaway literally gives me CHILLS.
I could go on a very long rant about how FASHION FUCKING MATTERS and it is not about the trivial, self-indulgent, toxic companies that have poisoned its name and significance in philosophy and culture, but you can just read this succinct and riveting article about Princess Diana's role in game-changing fashion instead.
We've got Ruthless Reasons to get through:
Sorry Miranda, but that's all. The next film in our Great Eight is: