First, there's this great article, where Elizabeth Logan asks how bad a movie has to be for Streep to not be nominated for an award? She watched and summarized the 23 films in Streep appeared but was not nominated for major awards. Here's a few favorite takeaways:
Heartburn (1986)Second, here's an article about which email sign-offs were found in research to have the highest response rate. TL;DR - pretty much any iteration of "Thanks" as well as anything involving "Cheers", "Best", and "Regards".
It's really a pity—and a little bit of a mystery—that this movie isn't better. You'd think Jack Nicholson and Streep directed by Mike Nichols in a film written by Nora Ephron and based on her (funny, wry, wise, quite good) novel based on her real marriage to Carl Bernstein would be a recipe for success. But alas, Heartburn isn't as funny as it should be or as quick-moving as wit demands. It's also kinda depressing. It's not awful, but expectations were so high that when an essentially mediocre film hit theaters, critics tossed it aside. Streep's great in the heartbreak/marriage/parenting scenes, but she's just not neurotic enough to be an Ephron heroine. She's a woman who radiates "I have my shit together," and Rebecca Samstat does not have her shit together.
The House of the Spirits (1993)
It's hard to use today's standards against yesterday's art. Nineteen ninety-three was a different time—but Meryl, as great as you are at acting, there's nothing you can do that will make you Latina. No es posible. Everyone should just read the book.
Evening (2007) a.k.a. White Upper Class Women and Their Romantic Troubles Are the Most Important Things in the World, Let's Talk About It: The Movie
OK, so this movie is…not good, but in other ways it is extremely good. Let me explain: The costumes are extremely good, and the cast is extremely good, even if they aren't all doing good acting in this particular project. Evening features my favorite Streepism, which is that the young version of Streep's character is played by one of her daughters (in this case Mamie Gummer, though it was Grace in The House of the Spirits).
The Giver (2014)
The Giver, the book, is a vitally important and, sad to say, a timely meditation on the pros and cons (truly) of authoritarianism, aimed at an audience hungry to explore rebellion. Too bad the movie is 90 minutes of exposition with occasional "action" scenes and, when you get down to it, many implied murders. Our girl Meryl, as the Chief Elder, is a slightly muted version of Julianne Moore as President Coin in Mockingjay Part One. She gives a lot of orders but actually does nothing. She doesn't even get to enter or exit a single room, preferring to beam in as a hologram. Um, but you know who else is a hologram in The Giver? Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is a hologram in The Giver.
I gotta admit, Suffragette scratches an itch. Sometimes you want to watch a movie about women who break things and yell at men until they get what that want and/or die. Unfortunately, not only does Suffragette ignore the fact that the "equality" the women were fighting for was white-centric, the movie makes the story even whiter than it needed to be by omitting Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, a suffragette who was a contemporary of the women in the picture, as well as…pretty much every other person of color. Ultimately, the film doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know (early white feminists gonna early-white-feminize, patriarchy gonna patriarch), but it scratches the itch when you want a movie with the thesis "If girl angry, girl smash."
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