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Meryl Streep, the nonpareil of leading actresses


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From The Independent comes an interview with Meryl Streep, possibly the leading film actress of the last 30 odd years. No scrub that, definitely the leading film actress of the last 30 years.

James Mottram writes:-

She’s one of the greatest stars of our time, and the most nominated actress in Oscar history. But Meryl Streep has never surrendered to the Hollywood system. As her 60th birthday approaches, she discusses her acclaimed new film – and how she manages to stay sane after 30 years at the top.

Then as he notes in another paragraph:-

"Hollywood to me is what it is to you. It's something other than what I am. I sit outside it."

BRIGITTE LACOMBE Streep says: "Hollywood to me is what it is to you. It's something other than what I am. I sit outside it."

I must admit the idea of interviewing Streep is quite intimidating. There are those record-breaking numbers: 14 Oscar nominations, two wins; 23 Golden Globe nominations, six wins; 11 Bafta nominations, one win. No other actor comes close. Then there are the films: heavyweight dramas, like the two she won her Oscars for, Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs Kramer. And the De Niro-like preparation: learning to play the violin for Music of the Heart, for example. No wonder actors are all terrified. “Even [being] in a rehearsal period, with Meryl Streep watching, is a behind-tightening experience,” says Viola Davis, co-star of her new film, Doubt.

A comprehensive profile which gives a good overview of her role in Doubt, where

Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius in Doubt

Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius in Doubt

Adam thought she gave an excellent performance. Thinking about Streep’s performance in Doubt some 10 days later, Adam thinks the Oscar nomination is well deserved. Streep’s superb performance stays in the mind. The image of the steely nun, which at times is pierced with humanity, which is then swiftly hidden. Hindsight taken advantage of, allows Adam the benefit of updating and re-appraising his earlier assessment.

An interesting counterpoint is this earlier profile in The Times, by Marianne Gray, which dates from the release of A Prairie Home Companion, Robert Altman’s last fim and in which Streep gives an excellent performance as part of a large ensemble cast in this affectionate tribute to Garrison Keillor’s long running radio show.

The Trailer for Doubt

then this clip from A Prairie Home Companion with Lily Tomlin

One Comment
  1. Mrs Muna Phillips permalink
    08/02/2009 01:31

    Dear Meryl,

    I have sat and watched Mamma Mia and admired your role.
    I am female, 43 years old and live in Sydney Australia with 4 beautiful children and my wonderful husband.
    I was adopted at 6 weeks of age by my mum who was 16 year old. She was brought over from Greece to have me. I was bought up by lebnaese parents who adopted me into an Orthodox family, as the only request from my natural mother.
    I am desperate to know my background and dont know where to start. I know I have brothers and sisters. My mums name which was given to my adoptive mother is Romanos. I would love to find out whether my mum and dad are dead or alive and if they are in Greece.
    This movie makes me even more want to go and find my family. I can not affford to yet but am hoping to very soon.
    This movie is closer to the heart than anyone realizes.
    Thank-you for keeping my dreams alive!!
    Love Muna Phillips


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