Monday, 25 May 2009

The Ubiquity of Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is not my favourite actress. I completely understand the love for her, since she is quite a good actress. But I’m just not very fond of her, or of her work. Someone once referred to her as a chameleon which seems about right. She now holds the record for the most Oscar nominations ever, which is a pretty formidable feat considering that she’s been acting for less than forty years. Recently she’s been on somewhat of a roll, and although she has been good in her roles, I wonder if some other actress could not have done just as well (or dare I say better) in the roles.

Take her role in The Devil Wears Prada. This is probably my favourite Meryl Streep comedic performance, usually I don’t like her in comedy, but I would have so much more loved to see Glenn Close. Perhaps, it would have been too much – been there, done that. But still, I think that could have been have been a great career opportunity for Glenn Close who remains as my favourite living actress, although I can’t remember the last time I saw her on the silver screen.

My worst Meryl performance is Prime. Not because the performance is bad, I mean it’s not very good, but it’s not horrible… and I always feel she was miscast. When the producers read the script and realised they needed a middle aged woman to play a Jewish shrink was Meryl the first name that came to mind. Haven’t they ever heard about someone called Barbra Streisand? Come on – that was too easy. And The Prince of Tides aside, I think Barbra could have knocked this out of the park – bad film and all. No offence to Meryl of course.
Last year Meryl did her thing in Doubt – a great performance, I kid you not. But there are so many older women (in need of roles) that could have been good here. What about Jessica Lange, Kathleen Turner (is she even alive?)Sissy Spaceck or once again Glenn Close. No one playing Sister Aloysius could have been overlooked by the Academy. NO ONE!!!! So did they HAVE to choose Meryl? And for the most part, I felt as if I was looking at Miranda Priestly with a dreadful New York accent and in a habit.

Then there was that horrid film called Mamma Mia… Meryl was actually the best thing, actually, the only good thing in this movie. The problem with Mamma Mia was casting. Meryl’s character is supposed to be a woman who about twenty years ago got pregnant at a young age and moved to this idyllic island? Did ANYONE looking at that movie get that feeling? NO! It was painful watching these women play young. Why couldn’t they cast Nicole Kidman or even Renée Zellweger?!!! Or some actress that was below 45. Damn those Hollywood producers.
There are other performances where I saw other actresses. Lions for Lambs never worked for me, but I still imagined Patricia Clarkson in it, more than Meryl. I dreamed of Pfeiffer in A Prairie Home Companion – even though she’s not old enough, etcetera, etcetera.
I have decided that after being in the business so long Meryl Streep has considerable dirt on every important Hollywood producer and is therefore blackmailing them so she gets all the good roles (and even some of the bad ones). I mean that must be the reason…right?

1 comment:

Hayden said...

I totally agree with you on all counts. Best Living Film Actress she isn't.