I made a lengthy video about who won this bracket, but I know shit all about video compression and it took 7,000 years to get it on facebook so who knows how long it would take to get it on here, so here's the recap:
JULIE & JULIA (2009)
Dir/Wri: Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Chris Messina, Mary Lynn Rajskub
- This contest is already VERY DIFFICULT because it is ultimately about Meryl's BEST PERFORMANCE, not about BEST FILM. That being said, some of these movies are NOT GOOD.
- For example, JULIE & JULIA is a terrible goddamn movie. I adore Amy Adams and will protect her like she's my firstborn child - truly, in my opinion she's one of the most UNDERRATED actresses of her generation and rarely gets her due. This movie had EVERYTHING GOING FOR IT: Nora Ephron wrote AND directed it, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Julia Child!!! And yet... even Amy Adams could not save this movie from the dull, lifeless, selfish, one-dimensional, BORING character she was forced to portray. Who, I hear, is a real woman. Bummer.
- Meryl's portrayal of Julia Child was EPIC and AMAZING. She managed to breathe life and humanity into one of history's most caricature-able figures with a depth and grace that ONLY Meryl could achieve. Okay, I get it, Meryl's amazing.
- THAT BEING SAID, it's still fairly caricature-y. All I could keep thinking was how badly I wanted this to just be a movie about Julia Child's life. Maybe if we had 2 whole hours to just delve into everything that made Julia Child who she was, it would've been a little less... silly. The inevitable silliness from only have 1/2 the movie dedicated to her ultimately detracted from what could've been an even more stellar performance.
- Shout out to Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), because I love her.
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (2016)
Dir: Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liasons, The Queen, High Fidelity)
Wri: Nicholas Martin
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg
- HOLY SHIT THIS MOVIE WAS SO MUCH DARKER THAN I WAS PREPARED FOR
- In all fairness, it's possible only I thought it was that dark.
- It's basically about this super rich woman who has somehow survived Syphilis for 50 years (which she got from her husband on her wedding night!!) and is the world's WORST singer, but is so rich that everyone lies and tells her she's amazing because they want her money.
- But ALSO they lie to her because she's sickly and should die any day now, and she is so childlike and naive and innocent that everyone truly does want to protect her from the truth.
- She's in this quasi-asexual-polyamorous relationship with Hugh Grant, who she can't sleep with (from the Syphilis) who cares for her, but he's got a chick on the side (because of the Syphilis).
- She decides to put on a huge show at Carnegie Hall, it sells out FASTER THAN SINATRA, because she's become FAMOUS for being THE WORLD'S WORST SINGER.
- THIS IS ALL BASED ON A TRUE STORY. FLO FO WAS A REAL WOMAN.
- Ultimately, she finally finds out that she's the world's laughing stock and basically dies of a broken heart/humiliation.
- SHOUT OUT to Meryl for actually doing all the bad singing in this movie - and it is truly horrendous. It is very difficult to sing that badly when you're that good of a singer in real life (which Meryl is).
- Shout out to Simon Helberg (Howard from Big Bang Theory!) and Nina Arianda for small but very well-executed roles that easily could've been total throwaways.
Which is why I can announce, without any hesitation, the winner of the FIRST BRACKET IS:
FLORENCE MOTHERFUCKING FOSTER JENKINS.