Seattle Cinema Survey – Meryl Streep

Hello all and welcome to another edition of the Seattle Cinema Survey, home to local critics and writers kindly responding to the – likely – inane things I ask.

With Meryl Steep’s latest arriving in the form of Florence Foster Jenkins, there’s some regular chit-chat about an actress that many consider the best talent in this country’s history. So, the pondering went ; What’s your favorite Meryl Streep performance?

This, of course, is a ridiculous query. Most actors and actresses would punch a Pope to have a career with as vital of turns as Streep gives in a decade. Any of her decades. The troubling mindset seems to be that The Streep is merely a piece of pretige fodder, always grasping for acclaim and awards. This. Is. Nonsense. Streep is an agent to warm hearts and quickly break them, inspire distress and cause empathy for her pain, and make one laugh, laugh, laugh. Yes, she has an army of Oscar noms and victories, but an honest look reveals that even The Queen manages to be overlooked for her comedy stylings by the Academy.

So, I stand here to sing the praises for Madeline Ashton, Streep’s wickedly youth obsessed, increasingly demented figure from Death Becomes Her. Be it the sharp glares when Goldie Hawn’s paws begin to crawl back into the realm of Madeline’s husband (an underrated bit of madcappery by Bruce Willis) or Streep’s pure-as-snow pronouncement of “I’m a girl” when she sips upon a rejuvenating elixir, Death Becomes Her is a reminder that few have the comedic chops of Le Streep.

Matt Oakes of Silver Screen Riot @SSRdotcom
It’s hard to parse my favorite performance of hers from my favorite
film starring her so I’ll meet somewhere in the middle with Adaptation. Streep delivers an unusual tour de force as a lovestruck author wrapped up in Charlie Kaufmann’s pseudo-biographical quest to adapt her character’s celebrated novel. Streep plays both sides of theaisle here, waffling between lover and killer, artist and maniac and thrives giving a performance that is complex and unique without
reeking of prestige.

Erik Samdahl of Film Jabber @FilmJabber
Meryl Streep is absolutely fabulous in Doubt. That final scene, that final moment, is just killer.

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One comment

  1. Susan Starr · August 12

    “Sophie’s Choice”….amazing. But guilty pleasure is the tense “The River Wild”!

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