So, despite the fact that "Mamma Mia" was one of the few Meryl films I've actually seen, I found myself wanting to revisit it to do a fair comparison of the performances. I'm also gonna need to preface this bracket with the fact that generally speaking,
I FUCKING HATE MUSICALS. OH MY GOD. I HATE THEM SO MUCH. STOP. FUCKING. SINGING. JESUS CHRIST.
Maybe it's from my years of being a theatre nerd and the deep-seated rejection issues I formulated because I was never a good enough singer to be cast in one, or maybe it's because MOST MUSICALS ARE GARBAGE, IDK.
"Mamma Mia," however, is mostly tolerable to me because it's not a "real musical," it's all ABBA music, and nobody really hates ABBA (not even me).
So let's get this fucking over with.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Dir: Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady, Mamma Mia 2)
Wri: Catherine Johnson (original musical)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfriend, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski
Quickest recap ever:
- Amanda and her mother, Meryl, live on the most gorgeous island on the freaking planet, where they run the world's most adorable shabby chic hotel
- Amanda is about to get married to an obnoxiously good looking and almost always shirtless dude, but desperately wants her father to be there... so she reads her mother's old diaries (weird?) and discovers that there were THREE MEN Meryl was "involved with" the summer she was conceived... and she invites ALL THREE OF THEM TO THE WEDDING
- Normal wedding hijinks ensue... some light arguments, some delightful musical numbers, a few amusing romances for sub-plot.
- Eventually, Amanda decides that all three of these guys are so dashing and loving and supportive, she DOESN'T CARE who her real father is, she'd rather be 1/3 of each of them than have to choose.
- She also dramatically decides last minute NOT TO GET MARRIED, and to just travel the world with Hot Shirtless Guy
- PLOT TWIST turns out Pierce Brosnan has been in love with Meryl this WHOLE TIME FOR TWENTY YEARS and THEY DECIDE TO GET MARRIED INSTEAD
- Oh my god more singing
Anytime you think "huh, I wonder what's gonna happen next" DON'T WORRY, MAYBE THEY'LL SING ABOUT IT. Is a character looking off into the distance? PROBABLY GONNA SING ABOUT IT. I actually think my favorite part of musicals is how in all the two-person scenes where only one person is singing, the other one just has to stand there watching them sing SO AWKWARDLY hahahaha it's like how you panic when people sing Happy Birthday to you and you can't remember what to do with your hands lol.
Acting wise, I must give Meryl MAD PROPS for being LITERALLY SIXTY YEARS OLD while this was filmed and still being totally bangable. Like for real, she is spry and full of joie de vivre and just dancing all over this Greek island in those adorable overalls. She literally does the FUCKING SPLITS while jumping up and down on a mattress (during YOU GUESS IT a fucking musical number). She could've totally phoned in this performance, but she still manages to give it NUANCE and DEPTH and SUBSTANCE. She's never too much "struggling mother" or too much "mature woman just wanting romance again." She's a real fucking person. Who just happens to tromp around singing all the goddamn time.
THEN ON THE OTHER FUCKING HAND, WE HAVE THE MOST GOD AWFUL FUCKING MUSICAL EVER OH MY GOD I'M SORRY BUT I FUCKING HATE MUSICALS SO MUCH AND THIS ONE WAS UP THERE WITH THE WORST. IT WAS SO BAD. I HATED IT. I HATED IT SO MUCH.
Into the Woods (2014)
Dir: Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins, Nine, Memoirs of a Geisha)
Wri: James Lapine (musical & screenplay)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Cordon, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and about 400 other famous people oh my god why did you all want to be in this fucking movie
Full disclosure: I had my hand on the fast forward button twenty minutes into this dumpster fire of a movie musical. I skipped ahead as much as humanly possible so I only had to watch the Meryl scenes, and even HERS were unbearable.
I actually like fairy tales. Anything involving mythology or folklore usually interests me. NOT THIS TIME AROUND.
To be fair, I don’t hate ALL musicals. I grew up listening to Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite sentimental movies of all time. There are a handful of other ones who have snuck under the radar over the years.
But Into the Woods????????????? I’m sorry fam, I just don’t fucking get it. You couldn’t dance to this music. The average person wouldn’t listen to this music in their car. The music is harsh and discordant and rambles. It’s not pleasant. It goes against the grain of everything that is supposed to sound good or beautiful. I know I’m nothing but an uncultured rube when it comes to music, but I cannot for the life of me understand why the fuck so many people I went to theatre school with lose their shit for this musical. Throughout the entire 45 minutes of the movie that I probably watched, I couldn’t stop feeling the anxiety, distress, betrayal, and horror that countless parents across North America have felt for DECADES being forced to watch their half-talented high school children perform this unintelligible ear-garbage on basketball gym stages, nervously glancing at their watches wondering when this TWO HOUR LONG MUSICAL, and their agony, will be over.
As for Meryl’s performance, my GOD. Talk about phoning it in. Even her hair and make up were terrible. This was an all time low for her. There were glimmers of “concerned, overbearing mother” that she gave us in Mamma Mia when she was the Bad Witch, and the “condescending, self-obsessed bitch” vibes as the Hot Witch she gave us in Death Becomes Her. There was none of the nuance and depth she has given us before in terrible movies. I wouldn’t be surprised if a half-talented high school student has done a more convincing and less grating performance of this role on one of those basketball gym stages.
THE OBVIOUS WINNER IS MAMMA MIA.
IF LOOKS COULD KILL, BOTH THESE MOVIES WOULD HAVE MURDERED ME. Seriously, get ready for LOOK on LOOKS on LOOKS on LEWKS.
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
Dir: Karel Reisz
Wri: John Fowles (novel), Harold Pinter!! (screenplay)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Very Sexual Eye Contact
It's a movie within a movie? But instead of showing them yelling "cut" or "action" or anything, it's just like you're ACTUALLY watching the movie they're making. At first I thought this was annoying and weird, but about halfway in I realized it was genius, and totally effective at sucking you into the story.
In "real" life, Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep (the stars of the "movie") are lowkey hooking up, but Meryl doesn't want everyone to know because Jeremy is married and has kids, and she has a boyfriend. The whole film literally just pays homage to every actor out there who's ever hooked up with their co-star during the run of a show and regretted it. Who hasn't?
So, "quick" film recap (LOL IMPOSSIBLE THIS MOVIE IS 8 YEARS LONG)
- Movie: Jeremy is a British Fancy Man with an Appropriate Fiancee and Meryl is the New Girl in town with a ~sordid past~
- Meryl goes to live with her bitchy religious aunt, who Does Not Approve of Meryl taking long walks in the woods, which is apparently where everyone goes to bone
Aunt: DO NOT GO IN THE WOODS
Meryl: But I like them
Aunt: THAT'S WHERE ALL THE IMMORALITY HAPPENS WHY WOULD YOU GO THERE
Meryl: Idk, it has a nice view
Sure Meryl, sure.
- Jeremy's socialite fiancee tells him that everyone calls her "The French Lieutenant's Woman" because she supposedly had some very scandalous affair with - you guessed it - an FL (French Lieutenant) who abandoned her here, and now she wanders the woods waiting for him
- Jeremy is intrigued and obviously smitten, and just HAPPENS to go for a stroll in Fuck Me Park, obvs so he can bump into Meryl
- They start chatting in a restrained, repressed, British way
- Jeremy & his fiancee inexplicably decide to have Meryl and her Caunt (Cunty Aunt) over for tea, and Meryl SLIPS HIM A NOTE which is the British version of sexting
- Caunt calls Jeremy a "Disciple of Darwin" because he's a psychotherapist lmao. Also tells him to fire his manservant, who she hears has been walking in Fuck Me Woods; throws some mean shade towards Meryl and basically says if you walk there again You're Cancelled.
- The note informs Jeremy to meet Meryl at the ~graveyard~ that night, definitely for Totally Not Sexy Reasons
*meet in graveyard*
Jeremy: HOW DARE YOU *inches closer* BEHAVE IN SUCH *heavy breathing* A PRESUMPTUOUS *gets a boner* AND UNSCRUPULOUS *jizzes his pants* MANNER
- Okay but for real, I'm barely exaggerating the mad sexual tension in this movie, it's outrageous.
- Meryl tells him that she has a SECRET she MUST CONFESS but NOT HERE it must be IN THE FUCK ME WOODS tomorrow... and it's about THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT
- Then we switch to IRL (in real life), where Jeremy & Meryl are actors boning during production (SUCH A GOOD AND ORIGINAL IDEA LOL). Jer wakes up first, and hears Meryl talking in her sleep... and she says ANOTHER MAN'S NAME (her IRL boyfriend). Aww, poor Jeremy :( #LifeImitatesArt
- So they meet in the woods and Meryl tells him her TERRIBLE SECRET
- She was a governess at this house when there was a shipwreck nearby, and the survivors came to stay at the home. She nursed the FL back to health.
- "I did not know back then that men could be both very brave and very false." Mm girl, same.
- She nursed him back to health and then he left her to go back to France. She fell into a great depression and followed him... but when she got there, she could tell that he had changed. She knew in five minutes what he was, but she stayed anyway.
* "I was an amusement for him, nothing more."
* "My innocence was false from the moment I chose to stay."
* "I did it so I should never be seen the same again."
* "I married shame."
* "I knew I wasn't like normal women, so I did something to make it so."
- Jeremy talks to his mentor (who might actually be Darwin? Lol) and he's like "we must cure her of this depression." Subtext: "With my PENIS." Darwin low key wants to put her in an asylum??
- Meryl very obviously walks out of the forest by one of her Caunt's friends, gets herself kicked out, and runs away (probably to Fuck Me Woods).
"I have fallen in love with being a victim of fate. Enter a young god. Intelligent, good looking, kind. My one weapon is the pity I inspire on him. So what do I do? I seize my chance. One day I go walking in the woods where I've been forbidden to walk, show myself obviously where I'll be seen and my employer will hear of it, who will obviously dismiss me. I then disappear, under the strong presumption that it is to throw myself off the cliffs... Then, when it is in extremis, I cry to my savior for help." - Darwin to Jeremy, regarding Meryl. Also literally me in high school lol.
- So Jeremy goes looking for Meryl and finds her sleeping VERY SEXILY in an abandoned barn in Fuck Me Woods. They FINALLY KISS AND IT IS VERY HOT.
Jer: CONTROL YOURSELF
Meryl: I CANNOT
*hard making out*
- Jeremy & Meryl totally get caught making out by Jeremy's Manservant the chick he's come into Fuck Me Woods to bone. Oops!
- JEREMY'S LITERAL RESPONSE IS: "I HAVE BEEN SENT HERE TO HELP HER BY THE PHYSICIAN." LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO NICE TRY JER.
- Jeremy gives her $$ and helps her escape to some little sexy motel halfway to London.
- He then lies to his fiancee and tells her he needs to "go to London on business." MmmHMM.
- His Manservant totally blackmails him for $$ so he won't tell the fiancee about Meryl, but also low key threatens to quit because of Jeremy's questionable morals. Mighty high talk for a guy that bangs Maids in the woods, but whatever.
- Jeremy goes to the motel Meryl is at and THEY FINALLY HAVE SEX.
- AND TBH, AFTER 1.5 HOURS OF SEXUAL TENSION, IT IS AN ENORMOUS LET DOWN.
- SERIOUSLY, ONE OF THE WORST SEX SCENES EVER CAPTURED ON FILM.
- And I honestly can't tell if it was intentional?
- First of all, it literally takes Jeremy like a solid 60 seconds to get ALL of his 4000 layers of Fancy British Man clothes off, while Meryl is just lying on the bed waiting for him awkwardly. Then the closed captions literally said "MOANS IN PAIN" when he finally gets inside of her. Several thrusts later, and we're done????????? Boooooo.
- At least the "moans in pain" is explained when we find out that MERYL HAS BEEN A VIRGIN THIS WHOLE TIME. SHE NEVER HAD SEX WITH THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT, HE TOTALLY DUMPED HER IN FRANCE. *pikachu face*
- Jeremy seems to be totally smitten with this blatant lie Meryl has told him, and decides to go back to his fiancee, break up with her, shame his name forever, then return back to the motel to start his new shame-stained life with Meryl.
- He comes back to the motel and MERYL IS GONE. WITHOUT A TRACE. What a bitch.
- Jeremy totally gets his name dragged in the mud and basically has his life ruined. He even wanders around the Fancy British Man Red Light District, and follows a whore with red hair that sort of looks like Meryl. Sad. :(
- IRL, the movie is starting to wrap, and Meryl is like "yeah we have to go back to our normal lives now" and Jeremy is VERY sad about it.
- IRL, Jeremy & Meryl have what can only be described as THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CAST PARTY EVER at Jeremy's house. Meryl actually talks to his wife while his kids are running around, and tells her how much she envies her and her... "garden." And how she wishes she could grow a.... "garden."
- GARDEN IS A METAPHOR FOR FAMILY. MERYL IS SAD.
- Jeremy also has a tense run-in with Meryl's boyfriend, who asks him how the movie is going to end... because the movie they're making is based on a book and the book has TWO ENDINGS! A happy one and a sad one! Jeremy says he doesn't know which one the director has chosen yet. Meta as FUCK.
- Back in the movie, THREE YEARS HAVE PASSED. Jeremy is a haggard, depressed old man still desperately searching for Meryl. Finally, a telegram arrives: SHE'S BEEN FOUND. Living under a new name as a governess somewhere.
- Jeremy goes to the home and confronts her.
Meryl: There was a madness in me. A bitterness. An envy. I forced myself on you knowing you had other obligations. It was unworthy. I suddenly saw after you had gone that I had to destroy what had begun between us.
Jeremy: Are you saying that you never loved me?
Meryl: I could not say that.
Jeremy: But you must say that! You must say "I am totally evil. I used him as an instrument. That he has sacrificed everything for me!" Say it!
Meryl: No, no!
- Blah blah blah they argue and make out, which is kind of their thing, and then she hops in his adorable little gondola and they sail away together.
- BUT BACK IN REAL LIFE... they're at the wrap party, which is happening in the same house they filmed the last scene of the "movie" in, and Meryl just up and LEAVES WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO JEREMY AT ALL.
- JEREMY TRIES TO CHASE HER OUT BUT SHE'S GONE. FOREVER.
- AND HE JUST SITS DOWN ALONE IN THE ROOM WHERE THEY REUNITED IN THE MOVIE BUT IT'S "REAL LIFE" AND HE IS ALL ALONE.
- IT IS SO SAD.
- AND THAT'S THE FUCKING END OF THE MOVIE.
Now, for the contender:
Still of the Night (1982)
Dir/Wri: Robert Benton (Kramer v. Kramer, Bonnie & Clyde, Superman I)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Roy Sheider
What a dated movie. I can only imagine that back in '82, this was a banger. Today it was... pretty forgettable, tbh. Like maybe it would've made a better play?
- The "We're gonna need a bigger boat" guy from Jaws (Roy Sheider) is a psychiatrist, who has just found out that one of his patients has been MURDERED
- Meryl stops by Roy's office to give him a watch that the Dead Guy left at her apartment, asking if he can return it to the grieving widow for her... because she was the Dead Guy's Assistant and also his MISTRESS
- Meryl feels bad about being his MISTRESS and doesn't want the wife to find out, and also doesn't want to get involved with the POLICE because of her TRAGIC PAST
- A DETECTIVE comes to visit the psychiatrist's office which makes Meryl nervous - she accidentally breaks some trinket on his desk - so Roy helps sneak Meryl out, for literally no other reason except that she's hot and he probably wants to bang her
- The Dead Guy was also fucking his Former Assistant (he had a type)
- Can't emphasize this enough: dead guy is overweight, balding, and unattractive. And we're supposed to believe that Meryl In Her Prime was into this dude?? Um no.
- We start getting these flashbacks from Roy, remembering his therapy sessions with George. George tells him about knowing a woman who MURDERED someone in her past, and being AFRAID of her but also TURNED ON BY HER. All signs point to Meryl and her INTENSE EYE CONTACT.
- We then find out in a flashback that George used to refer to Meryl as "Roy's Girlfriend" in his therapy sessions, said the two had a lot in common? Weird?? But also low key planted the seed in Roy's head that he and Meryl belong together?
- Meryl stops by the Psychiatrist's APARTMENT (how does she know where he lives??) to give him a new desk trinket gift, to replace the one she accidentally broke. SEXUAL TENSION & LOOKS.
- Roy has dinner with his mom, JESSICA FREAKING TANDY, and talks about his former patient George. He remembers this VERY INTENSE DREAM George had, and asks for her help dissecting it. Seriously, they even use a fucking chalkboard and make notes about it like it's a goddamn CSI episode, it's actually sort of funny.
- But for real, this dream is easily the BEST PART OF THE MOVIE. Because it is SO FUCKING FUCKED UP.
- The dream starts with George going down this driveway to a house covered in greenery. There's a cat on the roof and a bell by the door, he accidentally hits it on his way in. He goes inside the house and there's a small green jewelry box (Tiffany's?) on a shelf, he puts it in his pocket. He turns around and sees a little girl sitting on a chair VERY SEDUCTIVELY (????), holding a teddy bear. The little girl then TEARS OUT THE TEDDY BEAR'S EYE, and it begins to bleed all over her and onto the floor, where we notice what is 100% A GIANT VAGINA CARPET???????? George gets freaked out and starts to casually walk away, but the little girl follows him. He panics, and goes inside a secret door that leads to a staircase. He runs upstairs and is in a little room. The jewelry box falls out of his pocket (??), he turns around, BAM THE LITTLE GIRL IS RIGHT BEHIND HIM. It is terrifying.
So OBVIOUSLY (according to Jessica Tandy), this is how dreams work:
Box = woman
Green = jealousy
Little girl = someone you think is childlike and innocent and harmless
Ripping out eyeball = she is NOT childlike or innocent or harmless
Vagina carpet = ????
In conclusion, there is a JEALOUS WOMAN in George's life who he used to think was CHILDLIKE and INNOCENT and HARMLESS but now he's LOST CONTROL OF HER and is afraid for his life. And also vaginas are just always on his mind, probably.
- At this point I have to mention that Meryl is noticeably using what I call her "Soft Voice." I'm beginning to see she has about 3 voices (not counting accents, of course): her real voice, her deeper voice, and her softer voice. Throughout the whole movie she is so childlike and girlish, constantly touching her hair (#CybillShepherdHair), lots of furtive glances and darting eyes, very fragile looking. We've seen her vulnerable before (Kramer v. Kramer, Deer Hunter), but this is a new brand of Soft Meryl.
- One night, Roy is out walking and brooding when he sees Meryl leave the museum where she works. He follows her into Central Park, out of curiosity... then ends up under a bridge where he gets MUGGED. The mugger takes his wallet, watch, and coat.
- The next day, the Detective comes banging on Roy's door because someone has been STABBED TO DEATH IN CENTRAL PARK, WEARING ROY'S COAT!!! Detective is now certain that it's the same WOMAN who stabbed George to death, and that Roy is NEXT!!!
- Roy visits Meryl at her apartment to ask her some questions... and instead gets to see some SIDE BOOB ACTION
- Since Meryl is ~busy~ getting a massage, he decides to visit her later at work.
- While there, he meets her other coworkers, two very spinster-y looking chicks named Gail and Heather. They all seem to kind of hate Meryl for being so pretty (and for murdering George, probably)
- There's a big auction going on. Jeremy goes looking for Meryl in her office, and accidentally walks in on her being VERY SUSPICIOUS with some papers in a locked drawer of her desk.
- She's acting weird. They go down to the auction together. Wait, didn't he come here to ask her questions? Whatever.
- At the auction, Meryl DROPS HER KEYS. Roy picks them up, and while Meryl is busy being an auctioneer person, he sneaks back to her office to rummage through her secret desk drawer.
- In the drawer, he finds some MYSTERIOUS NEWSPAPERS about how Meryl was involved in a VIOLENT MURDER back in Italy!!!
- Meryl catches him snooping!! She's real mad, bro!
- Roy goes back to the auction, feels terrible, wants to get back on her good side - again, all signs are pointing to Meryl being the murderer, so this is obviously just because Roy wants to bang her
- The Detective shows up looking for Meryl, so Roy has to bid $10,000 on an item so he can get Meryl's attention and warn her to sneak out because the police are coming?! Okay Roy, obsessed much?
- After the auction, Roy is looking desperately for Meryl but can't find her. He bumps into her frizzy coworker, Gail, and says he's looked everywhere for her but she's not at home or the museum or anywhere. Gail is all like, "Ohhh, she'll kill me for doing this, but she does have a home up Long Island, she's probably there!" I mean good thing Roy isn't the murderer, because that seems like a weird thing to just tell somebody.
- So Roy goes to the home on Long Island, and IT'S THE SAME HOME FROM GEORGE'S CREEPY ASS DREAM, OH NO
- Meryl is inside, smoking in the dark, like a MURDERER
- She then gives a 10 minute monologue, outside on a porch, for no apparent reason except #drama
- We learn that Meryl was an heiress and when her mother died unexpectedly in her 20s, Meryl received a posthumous letter from her saying that her dad was an asshole after their $. Meryl then *accidentally* murdered her father, who seemed to be running for her on top of this church in Italy? Anyway she was scared and they got physical and the dad accidentally fell off the building, and Meryl has felt guilty about it ever since, and she has NO IDEA who those newspapers got into her desk at work, but someone is trying to FRAME HER for murder.
- Somehow, Roy figures out instantly who the murder is: IT'S GAIL, THE FRIZZY COWORKER!
Meryl: Wait, how did you find me here?
Roy: Your frizzy coworker told me.
Meryl: You mean the one you just realized is the murderer?
Roy: I think we should leave.
- TOO LATE, FRIZZY IS IN ROY'S CAR AND STABS HIM
- Meryl's in the house running away from Frizzy, and GUESS WHERE THEY END UP
- YEP, ON THE GODDAMN BALCONY
- Frizzy runs at Meryl, Meryl *accidentally* tosses her over the edge just like she did with her dad.
- Frizzy dies.
- Meryl & Roy make out. Hard.
While Meryl did a pretty great job in another very mediocre movie, her performance in "Still of the Night" just doesn't even COMPARE to the LAYERS on LAYERS on LAYERS going on in "French Lieutenant's Woman." She's a mess of a woman figuring herself out, a misunderstood virgin who is role-playing a whore, while simultaneously portraying an ACTRESS who is PORTRAYING that CHARACTER. It's super meta and I loved every one of its 800 minutes.
SO the winner of Bracket #5 is... THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN #EmoMeryl
So originally, I had planned to put "Devil Wears Prada" in the bracket against "A Prairie Home Companion," but upon some light research and input from well-seasoned Meryl-philes, I decided that the movie looked fucking awful and swapped it for "Dancing At Lughnasa" instead.
SO LET'S BEGIN, SHALL WE?
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Dir: David Frankel: (Sex & the City, Entourage)
Screenplay: Aline Brosh McKenna (27 Dresses, Morning Glory, Annie, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)Novel: Lauren Weisberger
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci
Truthfully, this goes into the category of the many films (particularly in the 2000s) that I can only describe as "Merylstiltskin" - a shit movie that Meryl somehow spins into goddamn gold. The film is still garbage, mind you, but it is made tolerable by her consistently incredible performances. I thought it was simply laziness on behalf of the Academy to deign to nominate Meryl for this role (and to an extent I still do), BUT SHE IS ALSO JUST THAT FUCKING GOOD. She really is.
Real quick recap:
- Anne Hathaway is a spunky journalist who isn’t ~ fashionable ~ but she is Smart and A Fast Learner and most of all, she has #spunk
- This job is ~ beneath her ~ because fashion is for IDIOTS
- God, shut up Anne
- Meryl is a #fashionbitch who is impressed by someone who Finally Stands Up To Her
- Emily Blunt is hiding her enormous talent under a terrible auburn wig (?) and the entire 2004 Urban Decay clubbing-themed eyeshadow palette
**Fun fact: I made that last note while watching the movie, then upon re-reading my notes decided to do some fact checking to see if I was actually close to nailing the exact brand and era of Emily's Exhausting Eyeshadow.... TURNS OUT I WAS SPOT FUCKING ON HAHAHAHA
- Anne becomes the assistant to the assistant (aww, same)
- “Can you please spell Gabanna” OMFG FUCKING STOP IT ANNE NO ONE LIVING IN NEW YORK IS THAT STUPID
- Stanley Tucci is the Sassy Gay Guy in the office, once again proving that if you put wildly talented people into otherwise dreadful and one-dimensional roles the movie will even itself out and become "watchable"
Best non-Meryl line in the movie:
Stanley: *hands Anne Hathaway high heels*
Anne: I don’t need these. Meryl Streep hired me, she knows what I look like.
Stanley: Do you?
- Meryl Streep’s fucking smile when Anne Hathaway corrects her on her name is probably 92% of the reason why she got nominated for an Oscar (the other 8% is because the Academy doesn’t watch movies not starring all white people)
- Okay I’m sorry, but NO ONE IN NEW YORK has as bad a fashion sense as Anne Hathaway in this movie. Homeless people would dress better.
- Aww, Anne is BEFUDDLED. You know what? She’s the fucking American female Hugh Grant, that’s what she fucking is.
- I really fucking hate watching obviously smart female characters be so stupid. Maybe just Anne's fault though? #SorryAnne #NotSorry
- OH DAMN THAT CERULEAN BLUE MONOLOGUE THOUGH!!!!
- Meryl has a particular “soft” voice she uses sometimes, and it’s alway more terrifying than her “strong” voice. She used it in “Still of the Night” and a little bit in “French Lieutenant’s Woman” and it’s ALWAYS a power move. At this point, perhaps, it’s a little redundant; but it’s always fucking effective.
- All that being said, it’s a goddamn fucking PLEASURE to see a Powerful Character be “soft-spoken.”
- Oh JESUS the “Anne Hathaway Finally Learns How to Dress Like A Fucking Adult” montage is nauseating.
- You know what? Stanley Tucci is right. Just GIVE A FUCK, ANNE. YOU’RE NOT BETTER THAN FASHION. FASHION IS NOT USELESS. IT’S A POWERFUL SOCIAL TOOL.
- “Fashion is not about utility. It’s iconography.”
- Oh cute, Anne’s friends are making fun of her for “drinking the Koolaid” because she’s finally giving a fuck about her life.
- Now she’s being a Naive Goddamn Bitch getting hit on by “hot guys” and “not realizing it” #Anne&HughAreTheSamePerson
- Anne starts *sacrificing* her personal life for work
- The whole “my heterosexual boyfriend is bummed out that I’m focusing on my career and doing well for myself and making me feel like shit about it” trope is GETTING REALLY FUCKING OLD.
- The Straights’ (c) conception of a Hot Heterosexual Man is seriously so fucking nauseating (more on this later)
- UH OHHHHHHH Anne goes to Meryl’s house to drop off some papers n’ shit and she falls for her dumb kids’ trick to “come upstairs” and accidentally overhears Meryl and her Husband fighting and Meryl gives Anne THE MOST AMAZING LOOK.
- Anne starts pissing Meryl off (same) so she gives her an IMPOSSIBLE task - to get the unpublished manuscript of Harry Potter for her bratty twins in the next 4 hours - and SOMEHOW* Anne manages to do it.
- *Somehow means "with the help of Generic Heterosexual Hunk" #ew
- This ONE SINGLE ACT of competence somehow impresses Meryl SO MUCH that she turns into a Sultry Witch Mommy for whom I would gladly die #WitchMommy
- Seriously, this series of looks is largely why she was nominated. THE LAYERS GOING ON HERE ARE SO PROFOUND. THIS IS WHAT AN INNER MONOLOGUE LOOKS LIKE.
- OH SHITTTTTTT Meryl comes into work and throws her shit on EMILY’S desk instead of ANNE’S #savage
- Dumb Hot Generic Straight Guy kisses Anne ON THE CHEEK and she instantly loses her Best Friend and her Boyfriend decides to “take a break”
- EMILY GETS HIT BY A TAXI AND THE HERMES SCARVES GO EVERYWHERE. DO YOU PEOPLE KNOW HOW MUCH HERMES SCARVES COST??????
- Anne goes to Paris with Witch Mommy - I mean Meryl - while her and “le boyfriend” are Ross (on a break)
- Generic Heterosexual (GH for short) wants to hook up with Anne in Paris but she comes back to the hotel and there is MERYL with NO MAKE UP and she’s all SAD AND VULNERABLE. “Another divorce.” IDK, more like ANOTHER HETEROSEXUAL CISGENDER WHITE MAN WHO CANNOT HANDLE THE POWER OF A SUCCESSFUL WOMAN.
Two Best Quotes Of This Movie:
1) “If Miranda were a man, no one would say anything bad about there except how good she is at her job.” THANK YOUUUUU
2) “FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED TO MOVE SNOOP DOGG TO MY TABLE."
Anne hooks up with GH in what is obviously supposed to be a Bad Decision, but they make it look like it was ALL her fault. The text literally goes:
Anne: I can't. I just split up with my boyfriend. My judgement is impaired. I've had too much wine. I'm... out of excuses.
- Anne wakes up and finds out that HG is in on some big ~ conspiracy ~ to REPLACE MIRANDA *pikachu omg face* and Anne Has To Warn Her
- She tries. Miranda is #busy.
- Big fancy banquet dinner. Too late. Stanley Tucci thinks he’s getting a promotion. Instead, Meryl names HER ENEMY, some hot French Lesbian in early 2000’s The L Word power suits and spiky hair. Poor Stanley.
Meryl: ur just like me
Anne: omg no I’m not
Meryl: yes u r
Anne: i would never do to stanley wut u did #notcoolbro
Meryl: but DIDNT U????? #emilyblunt
Anne: *pikachu face*
Anne: NO I DID NOT
Meryl: lol yes u did
Meryl: u remind me of a young me
Meryl: *gets out of car into crowd of paparazzi*
Anne: *gets out of car and runs away*
Anne: *throws phone into french fountain*
*fast forward back in NYC*
*in hipster cafe with Anne’s lame bf*
Anne: U wErE rIgHt AbOut EvErYtHiNg
Bf: Lol yeah I know
- Jesus fucking Christ people, let a woman admit she made mistakes and has learned from them without making it ALL ABOUT VALIDATING THE FRAGILE MALE EGO!!!
- Oh DON’T WORRY, HE GOT A FANCY NEW JOB IN BOSTON AND SHE IS ****ALLOWED**** TO COME WITH HIM
- LUCKY ANNE HATHAWAY
- WHAT A FUCKING EMPOWERING FEMALE FILM
New Job Interviewer: I called Meryl’s magazine and asked for a reference. Meryl said you were HER BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT.
New Job Interviewer: AND IF I DIDN’T HIRE YOU I WAS AN IDIOT.
- WOMEN?????? Re-appropriating toxic masculinity culture’s BAD BEHAVIOR is not a fucking sign of IMPROVEMENT
- Becoming a DICK doesn’t mean you’ve FIGURED OUT FEMINISM
- IT JUST MEANS YOU’VE STOOPED TO THEIR LEVEL
- Figure out a way to be POWERFUL without being A HUGE (non gendered) CUNT ABOUT IT
- JESUS CHRIST
- WHY IS EVERYTHING SO DIFFICULT
- AND GENDERED
- AND MONOGAMOUS
- AND HETEROSEXUAL
- AND WHITE
- It’s been a long week and I might be seeing this movie through capitalist, white-colored glasses and having a hard time.
- I’m sorry
- BUT ALSO NOT SORRY
- BECAUSE CAPITALISM
- AND GENDER INEQUALITY
- AND UGHHHHHHHH
In conclusion, I guess this movie was supposed to be about a real person's experience working at Vogue with Anna Wintour? Anyway the movie was terrible, I used to be neutral about Anne but now I can't stand her fucking face, and Meryl is a Witch Mommy Goddess as SHE ALWAYS IS. Anyway, here's a delightful interview with her and Anna Wintour for a much needed palate cleanser. UGH.
"Look at that décolletage!" A barely relevant but absolutely adorable interview between Meryl Streep & Anna Wintour.
AND NOW FOR DANCING AT LUGHNASA, WHICH I PROMISE WILL BE MUCH SHORTER AND HAVE WAY LESS FEELINGS.
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
Dir: Pat O’Connor (Sweet November, Fools of Fortune)
Wri: Brian Friel (play), Frank McGuinness (screenplay)
- 5 sisters living in rural Ireland in the 30s doing their best not to all commit suicide because their lives are so goddamn boring and being a woman is bullshit
- Everything is changing "TOO QUICKLY" for Meryl
- Michael Gambon was a priest in Africa for 25 years and has come home, but it seems he sort of forgot about Catholicism (same) and has taken up the pagan African traditions instead... also he's gone sort of crazy? (Racist?)
- This movie is literally just everyone sitting around doing bullshit chores while Meryl bitches to everyone about everything
- The Slow Sister yells at Meryl, tells her that in school everyone used to call her "The Gander" (a boy goose), which I'm guessing is some kind of slur for spinster?
- The Slutty Sister has a kid (Bastard Nephew), who is also kind of narrating the movie
- Slutty Sister's Baby Daddy (Rhys Ifans) comes to visit out of NOWHERE, takes her away on a motorcycle ride *eye roll*
- Baby Daddy is all like "hey so I just came back after being gone for 5 years to tell you that I'm leaving for the war lol bye." Ummm, okay? Thanks for nothing, jerk?
- Meryl goes into town to buy groceries for like 5 cents (lol old timey prices) and runs into a former student who asks her if her and her sisters are going to the "big dance," Meryl is literally the dad from Footloose and is all "wHaT dO yOu MeAn oF cOuRsE nOt DaNcEs aRe fOr WhOrEs" okay whatever Meryl
Funniest line award:
Middle Sister: It's nice that Slutty Sister's Baby Daddy is here.
Meryl: NO IT IS NOT FUCK HIM.
Middle Sister: Jesus Meryl, can't you lighten up?
Meryl: NO I LITERALLY CANNOT.
Middle Sister: You're a relentless bitch, you know that?
*Funny Sister sings along to it*
Meryl: You know, if you knew your prayers half as well as you know those pagan songs!
Meryl: I am a relentless bitch, aren't I?
- The Simple sister sneaks out to go on a boat ride with ~Danny Bradley~ notorious bachelor
Danny: Want to go to the Lughnasa Dance with me? It's a celebration of pagans and sex and drinking and stuff.
Simple: Um... No thanks.
Danny: I want you to go with me.
Danny: Can you swim?
*rocks boat furiously bath and forth*
Danny: OH OKAY YOU SURE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO THIS PARTY WITH ME
- Michael Gambon sees the fires at Lughnasa and wanders towards them, they remind him of Africa
- He bumps into Rosie there with Danny Bradley, who’s getting VERY RAPEY
- She goes home with Michael Gambon and Meryl is NOT HAPPY
- Baby Daddy fixes the radio and they all dance, EVEN MERYL #FINALLY
- God life must have been so fucking dull back then.
- The yarn store (???) gets run out of business or something because of a new factory, so they all have to come up with something else to do for a living
- Meryl loses her job at the Mean Catholic School Teacher store
- Michael Gambon obviously can't work because he's crazy
- Basically their lives are garbage, and Meryl won't even LET THEM GO TO THE DANCE. They literally just dance in the front yard, ONCE. That's the only dancing that happens. And it's not even AT LUGHNASA. IT'S JUST AT HOME.
- Middle Sister and Simple Sister decide to just up and move to London???
- AND ARE NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN?!?!??!
- "DIED ALONE, AS SHADOWS ON THE STREET"
- WHY SO BLEAK?????
- Baby Daddy still goes to war, survives but never comes back
- Slutty Sister gets a job at the factory and hates it every day of her life
- Meryl and the Funny Sister try to keep their shit together but are INCONSOLABLE because everything has CHANGED
- Bastard Nephew (narrating again for the first time since the beginning of the movie) can’t wait to grow up and get the Fuck Outta Dodge
- THE END????????
I thought these two movies would have nothing in common, but they actually had two major intersections:
1) Meryl is a #Bitch in both of them, and
2) I hated both of them
What can I say, not every Meryl movie is gonna be a #banger. It's not Meryl's fault.
But this is about PERFORMANCE, darling. In "Devil," she was nuanced, she had layers, there were clear moments of internal monologues, and she wasn't just a one-noted evil villain. She was a complex woman who had a LOT going on. "Relentless in Lughnasa," on the other hand, was damn near unwatchable, and it wasn't really her fault. There was NOTHING in the script for her to work with. Every single line out of her mouth was relentlessly bitchy.
So even though Anne Hathaway serves about as much purpose in film history as a Befuddled, Useless Hugh Grant character, this ISN'T ABOUT THE MOVIE, IT'S ABOUT THE MERYL. AND THE OBVIOUS WINNER IS...
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Ah, lovely, a movie about my TWO LEAST FAVORITE THINGS: WAR & KILLING ANIMALS. I will admit, this was one of my most-dreaded films to watch, and I would've excluded it because of the aforementioned WAR and KILLING ANIMALS, but it was Meryl's FIRST Oscar Nom, so it obviously had to be included. LET'S GET THIS OVER WITH.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Dir: Michael Cimino
Wri: Deric Washburn
Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep
Basically, this is a movie about 3 friends from Pennsylvania who are all about to go fight in the Vietnam War, but don't worry, nothing bad happens to any of them.
HAHAHAHAHA JUST FUCKING KIDDING, BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO ALL OF THEM.
BECAUSE WAR IS STUPID.
AND VIETNAM WAS ONE OF THE STUPIDEST.
I KNOW ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT WHY WE WENT TO FIGHT IN VIETNAM BUT I AM 120% CERTAIN IT WAS A DUMB FUCKING IDEA.
The way I see it, if you want to play kickball, but there aren't enough kids on the playground to play kickball with, then guess what? YOU DON'T GET TO PLAY FUCKING KICKBALL. YOU DEFINITELY DO NOT GET TO FORCE A BUNCH OF CHILDREN TO PLAY KICKBALL WHEN THEY DON'T WANT TO, ESPECIALLY IF BY "KICKBALL" YOU MEAN "VIETNAM WAR" AND BY "PLAY" YOU MEAN "ALMOST CERTAINLY DIE, EITHER PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY!!!!"
Okay, rant over. For now. Probably.
This movie is actually AMAZING and worth watching. Once. Just once. If for nothing else, but the fact that YOUNG DE NIRO AND YOUNG WALKEN ARE SUCH GODDAMN DREAM BOATS. I literally had to start keeping a tally of how many times I said "OH MY GOD YOU'RE SO GOOD LOOKING!" De Niro won, but you still got it going on, Walken. Yeah you do.
It also must be said that this movie is definitely at least 1 hour longer than it needs to be (and it is THREE GODDAMN HOURS LONG). Literally the entire first hour is just a fucking wedding. Like, we get it, you're getting married and then going to Vietnam. The ONLY thing that needed to be established besides that was that everyone gets drunk. Idk why it took you an hour, but whatever.
We finally see young Meryl, she's dating Christopher Walken and has a shitty dad who hits her. Aw, poor Meryl.
After the wedding, they decide to go HUNTING (???) and we establish that De Niro really does not like Fredo (i.e. John Cazale).
THEN WE GO TO VIET FUCKING NAM AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF BULLSHIT HAPPENS.
In a nutshell:
- more violence
- violence against women and children
- acts of violence that young men are being forced to do against their will
- getting captured by more young men being forced to be violent
Then, just when you think there's no more violence, EVERYONE DECIDES TO GET REAL FUCKING EXCITED ABOUT RUSSIAN FUCKING ROULETTE.
Obviously, the game is a goddamn metaphor. You go to war, and it is literally a gamble with your life whether or not you'll come back. But even if you "live," you still don't really win: because you have to look somebody in the goddamn eyes as they BLOW THEIR BRAINS OUT. WHICH HAPPENS. MORE THAN ONCE.
I HATE WAR MOVIES.
Eventually, Christopher, Robert, and whatever the third guy's name is finally escape this Death Trap Russian Roulette Club House of Doom they're being held prisoner in, and they get picked up by Americans. Then Robert & The Other Guy fall out of the helicopter and get separated, but they make their way to an American base camp and get sent home.
Walken, on the other hand, is safe at a base camp but is confused and sad and alone... then gets totally preyed on by this Nasty French Guy who's like "Hey wanna be a PRO RUSSIAN ROULETTE PLAYER" and you're like NO PLEASE SAY NO WHAT A DUMB PROFESSION but Walken is like "idk y not i have nothing to live for bc war."
So De Niro goes back home and all his friends who did NOT go to war are like "HEY YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE A GREAT IDEA SINCE YOU JUST GOT BACK FROM A FAR AWAY PLACE COMMITTING SENSELESS, VIOLENT ATROCITIES? HOW ABOUT SOME MOTHERFUCKING DEER HUNTING!"
Like I GET that it's the TITLE of the MOVIE and it would not have been as POWERFUL if they were really into, like, BOWLING or something, but Jesus Christ no one even remotely understood PTSD back then.
So they go hunting, and De Niro is like REALLY hateful towards Fredo (who isn't), but this time he like low key almost shoots him in the face and you're like WHOA we know he's FREDO but don't SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE but then he decides NOT to shoot him and also he decides NOT to shoot a DEER and you're supposed to be like "oh nice, personal growth" and "the war did affect him" but instead I'm just like CAN WE PLEASE STOP FIRING GUNS PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
The answer is no, no we cannot.
He also gets real chummy with Meryl, but you're okay with it because we're not really sure if Walken is alive or coming back. Also, Meryl is So Sad.
Even though her part is really small, honestly I get why she was nominated. She manages to portray such deep sadness/confusion/loss without ever "losing it." Her SMALL moments are so much more powerful than her BIG MOMENTS.
Weird sidebar, but honestly I have been watching SO MUCH GODDAMN MERYL that I am really beginning to notice this shit...
I think it has something to do with her really small mouth?
Seriously, she has a very small mouth, and I think it keeps her from looking too - sloppy? - when she has to do very emotional scenes. It ends up making her a beautiful crier, which as we all know is How To Get An Oscar 101.
...Am I crazy? Maybe I'm crazy.
So Bob and Meryl are ~ going steady ~ but then Bob decides to check on The Other Guy who totally lost 3 out of 4 limbs #bummer and The Other Guy is like "yeah random but I keep getting all this $$ sent to me from Saigon??" And Bob is like YOU IDIOT IT'S FROM CHRISTOPHER WALKEN so he decides to go BACK TO FUCKING VIETNAM to go get his BEST FRIEND #veryemotional #bromance
Okay I feel bad though, the Other Guy is John Savage I can just never remember his goddamn name. He did an outstanding job of portraying someone Who Cannot Handle The War and loses his shit completely.
So Bob goes back to Vietnam, finds Walken is a PRO FUCKING RUSSIAN ROULETTE PLAYER known as "THE AMERICAN" and decides to PLAY HIM IN A GAME.
They play each other. Walken is in a daze. He is also doped out of his goddamn mind. De Niro is sad. Please don't make me do this. They both play. They both survive. De Niro says Please come home. Walken says, "Home." For the briefest of moments, we see in his eyes that the old him is still in there, somewhere.
Then Walken GRABS THE GUN AND SHOOTS HIMSELF IN THE HEAD ANYWAY.
FUCK RUSSIAN ROULETTE.
FUCK THIS MOVIE.
SOH COOL, NOW I GET TO COMPARE THIS TO AN EMOTIONAL DOMESTIC DRAMA ABOUT DIVORCE IN MANHATTAN.
This entire escapade was a terrible idea and I regret everything.
Kramer vs. Kramer
Dir/Wri: Robert Benton (Places of the Heart, Bonnie & Clyde, Superman I)
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry
At least this will be much faster to get through.
Meryl and Dustin are married. Dustin is a big advertising hot shot, and Meryl is an existentially depressed housewife. For fear of going off the deep end and killing herself, she leaves him, and their 5 year old son.
Dustin has to learn how to be a single father to their kid - the phenomenal Justin Henry, also nominated for an Oscar - and juggle life and work.
Most of this movie is just Dustin and Justin being a father and son team, figuring life out. The movie is character driven, not so much plot driven, which is generally my favorite kind of filmmaking - just letting the actors be. And damn, do they be good.
Then, after a YEAR AND A HALF, Meryl decides to come back into their lives and fight for sole custody #rude. She creeps on the kid, gets a ruthless lawyer, and sets out to Get Her Life Back.
*Shout out to Jane Alexander (Cider House Rules, The Ring) for playing a small role - the best friend caught between Meryl and Dustin - with extraordinary grace and depth. Also she looks like she could be Alyson Hannigan's mom?
Again, I cannot commend Meryl enough for how SMALL and SUBTLE and POWERFUL her acting is. Truthfully, her character is kind of a bitch. She just up and leaves her husband and kid for A YEAR AND A HALF. And I get it, she was on the brink of a breakdown, and it was the right thing for her to put her mental health first. That took bravery. BUT A YEAR AND A HALF with NO INDICATION OF COMING BACK is pretty fucking brutal.
Luckily, Meryl is a master at being VULNERABLE without being a VICTIM. She owns up to what she did, and ultimately, even though she wins custody, she decides to let Dustin have it and visit the kid when he allows her to because she knows it's actually what's best for all of them. Powerful selfishness, powerful self-awareness, powerful sacrifice. In a way that I truly believe ONLY MERYL COULD DO. #OMCD
Which brings us to our winner of Bracket #3...
KRAMER V. KRAMER
This was a fucking hard decision - how do you compare Vietnam and divorce?? But ultimately, since we are going for Best Performance, based on screen time, depth of character, nuance, and for all you actors out there - Shurtleff's Actor Guidepost #5, the winner has to be Kramer v. Kramer.
WOW OH WOW. Where to even begin...
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Dir: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump)
Wri: Martin Donovan & David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis, Isabella Rossellini
- WHAT A GODDAMN DELIGHT OF A FILM.
- Shout out to Denise Lynne Roberts, Meryl and Goldie's stunt double, who performed without a doubt THE LONGEST FALL DOWN A STAIRCASE IN RECORDED FILM HISTORY (probably). Amazing.
- Campiness is hard to do, and hard to do well. In my opinion, campiness MUST have a sense of self-awareness, that sort of wink towards the audience that lets us know that you know how ridiculous you're being, so we don't feel bad for laughing at you, but rather, feel like we're laughing WITH you. This is true "camp," and when well-executed (pun intended), it is one of my goddamn favorite things to watch.
- I know we live in a time of washed up and totally unnecessary remakes, but I could NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW GOOD A REMAKE WOULD BE... wait for it... starring Emma Stone as Goldie Hawn and Jennifer Lawrence as Meryl Streep. I KNOW I'M A GENIUS. Throw in Michael Cera as Bruce Willis and Rihanna as Isabella Rossellini and I think I just came up with THE GREATEST MOVIE THAT'S NEVER BEEN REMADE. ...Yet.
- Best line award goes to: (wildly paraphrased)
*Bruce Willis is the go-to Hollywood undertaker, known for making even the most horrifying of corpses look good again*
Coroner: This famous Hollywood Hunk died in a bathtub, having sex with his 18 year old Cuban wife! He is bloated and blue, and has the most inappropriate look of pleasure on his face!
Bruce Willis: Don't worry, I know what I'm doing, I'll make sure I make him look good. Lots of character and depth.
Coroner: Oh no, that won't do, we want his fans to recognize him!
- Basically Goldie and Meryl are Best Frenemies fighting over Bruce Willis, they end up getting caught up in what can only be described as Satan's Spa, run by AN ABSOLUTELY EARTH-SHATTERING ISABELLA ROSSELLINI, and get a potion to live forever. Bruce gets caught in the middle of the woman he used to love but lost, and the woman he's stuck with but doesn't love anymore, and the two crazy bitches decide they'd rather be young and beautiful forever than give a flying fuck about love and team up to convince him to also take the potion so he can be their Maintenance Guy FOREVER. Bruce barely escapes, decides to live his life naturally, and lives (and dies) happily ever after. Meryl and Goldie end up living forever, miserably, together. And die in a giant pile of dust after yet ANOTHER fall down a giant staircase.
- Truly a delightful film. 10/10.
Isabella Rossellini Appreciation:
THEN WE HAVE THIS CLUSTER FUCK OF A FILM. OH MY GOD GET READY FOR IT.
The House of the Spirits (1993)
Dir: Bille August (Les Miserables)
Wri: Isabelle Allende (novel) & Bille August
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas, Vincent Gallo
It legitimately took me 25 minutes into this movie to realize that it wasn't about a bunch of American ex-pats living in Chile, but that MERYL STREEP, JEREMY IRONS, GLENN CLOSE & WINONA RYDER ARE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE CHILEAN. AND GLENN HAS BROWN CONTACTS IN. OH NO.
Real quick, because I hated this goddamn movie:
- Meryl is a clairvoyant child named CLARA (lol)
- Jeremy wants to bang her big sister, goes to mine for gold to become $$ enough to marry her
- Big sister dies in very dumb and avoidable poison accident
- Meryl never speaks again
- Until JEREMY shows back up and is like "oh sweet you're old enough to bang now, and look just like your dead big sister" #hot #totallynormal
- LITTLE DOES MERYL KNOW (despite being clairvoyant??) that Jeremy is kind of a huge dick and has totally been raping the locals, not cool Jer
- They go back to Jeremy's brand new ranch he bought with his mining money, take his sister Glenn with him who he HATES AND IS SO MEAN TO FOR NO REASON
- Well kind of one reason, Glenn is DEFINITELY gay for Meryl (who isn't)
- Best line award goes to Glenn's VERY HORNY CONFESSION to a Priest about walking in on Meryl and Jeremy boning: "secret sounds & sacred juices." Yeah, Glenn, they were having sex. You're describing it like we don't know what sex is. We know what sex is. Do YOU know what sex is?? Because I feel like you really don't know what sex is. Poor Glenn :(
- Glenn gets kicked out for being gay (literally)
- Fast forward, Meryl has a daughter - WINONA RYDER LOL - whom I love but come on, you guys aren't fucking Chilean
- Oh no, Jeremy's rape baby comes back, he's a grown man. Excellent acting done by this dude who's creeping on young Winona and jealous of the life she has that he missed out on, and the whole time I'm like WHO ARE YOU and GUESS WHAT IT WAS VINCENT GALLO LOL WHAT WHY.
- Winona grows up and has a cute lil friend, the son of Jeremy's head rancher, but Jeremy is like NO MY DAUGHTER WILL NOT PLAY WITH PEASANTS but because they're all white and all the ranchers are actually played by brown people it just ends up looking REALLY FUCKING RACIST.
- Did I mention I hate this movie.
- Meryl is barely even clairvoyant anymore??
- Nah wait she gets it back just in time to see Glenn's ghost tell her she's dead.
- Winona is boning the rancher's son (Antonio Banderas) and gets caught, Jeremy freaks out and wants to kill him
- Meryl and Winona ditch and go back to her parents house, Meryl NEVER TALKS TO JEREMY AGAIN
- No like really, they make up later in the movie when Winona has a kid and even still Meryl is like "Excuse me maidservant, can you tell my husband that dinner is ready" when he's like RIGHT NEXT TO HER it's actually hilarious
- Meryl dies of sadness?
- Winona gets caught up in politics
- Blah blah blah
- Jeremy decides to be nice to his kid again and stop searching to kill Antonio
- Jeremy also dies of sadness
- I hated every second of this 75 hour long movie.
SO FINALLY, OBVIOUSLY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE WINNER OF BRACKET #2 IS...
DEATH BECOMES HER
And it's NOT just because I hated the other movie - because remember this is about BEST PERFORMANCE, not best FILM - but because Meryl only had like 2 faces through all of "House"
1) I'm clairvoyant about something GOOD
2) I'm clairvoyant about something BAD
And like I said before, CAMP IS AMAZING AND HARD TO PULL OFF AND SHOULD BE FUCKING RECOGNIZED.
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.
CONFESSION: I have SOMEHOW only seen about THREE (???) Meryl Streep movies IN MY LIFE (and one of them is Mamma Mia!!). To combat this horrifying oversight, I have taken it upon myself to construct what I humbly consider the most extraordinary of ventures and possibly the greatest competitive artistic undertaking known to mankind: MERYL (MARCH) MADNESS! Stay tuned as I battle out the greatest actress of all time's top 32 movies (based on her 21 Oscar nominated performances, plus an additional 11 movies that looked the most interesting to me). BEHOLD, THE TOP 32!