She’s been nominated for 28 Golden Globes, 18 Oscars (she’s won three), three Emmys, five Grammys and a Tony, and today, Meryl Streep celebrates her 65th birthday. Then it’s back to work. As noted earlier today, she’ll be playing Maria Callas in an HBO movie based on Terence McNally’s 1995 Tony award-winning play Master Class. The director? Mike Nichols, with whom she’s worked on Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), Postcards from the Edge (1990) and Angels in America (2003).
Streep will also be playing an “old, fading rock star” in Ricky and the Flash, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme. At the AV Club, Gwen Ihnat notes that she’s taking guitar lessons from none other than Neil Young. And she’s just wrapped Suffragette, The Giver and Into the Woods.
In January, Phaidon published Karina Longworth‘s Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor. “Longworth’s great strength is as a close reader—of individual scenes, of Streep’s loopy theorizations about acting and feminism, of relationships between Streep and her collaborators,” writes Phillip Maciak for Slate. “And as much as all of these passages forward a narrative of the actress’s creative evolution, they also provide the springboard for well-earned arguments about the cultural impact of Streep’s ascendance…. And it is frankly shocking, as well as inspiring, to read about the number of times Streep forced herself to intervene in order to give a sense of agency or even human complexity to characters she had agreed to play.”
In her FAQ for the book, Karina notes that each of the ten chapters “is essentially a long piece of film criticism focused on a specific performance in a single production, the period it represented in Streep’s life and career, and its impact on Streep’s own stardom and the wider landscape of opportunity for women in Hollywood.” Given that the IMDb lists 74 acting credits, the selection of ten is crucial and telling: The Deer Hunter (1978), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Sophie’s Choice (1982), Silkwood, Out of Africa (1985), Death Becomes Her (1992), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Julie and Julia (2009) and The Iron Lady (2011).
Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse is throwing a Merylthon today, screening five films in a row beginning at 2pm. Which five films is to remain a mystery until the opening credits roll on each. “Actor-themed marathons have become a Drafthouse fixture,” notes Richard Whittaker in the Chronicle, but this one “changes the rules in two significant ways. Firstly, it’s been booked by Drafthouse serving and behind-the-scenes staff, not the regular programming team. And second, it’s the first time in which the honored star is a woman.”
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