Currently browsing the "Meryl Streep" tag.

Review: The Prom

I miss Broadway. And while Hamilton certainly helped fill the void during this pandemic, the historical rapfest isn’t one of those big, splashy, colorful broadway musicals that you serendipitously try to catch after standing in the discount line at TKTS. The Prom fits that particular playbill. Director Ryan Murphy (TV’s Glee) saw the show on Broadway and immediately knew he could adapt it to the big screen (or small screen, as the case may be). Add a hefty dose of star power, make it available on Netflix, and let the party – or prom – commence.

Review: Little Women

Louisa May Alcott’s 1860s novel Little Women has been adapted to film more times that I can count, beginning in the silent era. So do we really need another one? Yes, we do. In the hands of the talented Greta Gerwig, this story of the four March sisters in Concord, Massachusetts feels as fresh and as relevant as any modern story. And blessed with a perfect cast including Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, and Timothée Chalamet, it’s one of the gems of this awards season.

Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing. Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing.

The story may be lame as heck, but who cares? Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again delivers exactly what I expected: a groovy movie musical with a simple plot built around lyrics to ABBA songs — just like the first Mamma Mia! nearly a decade ago. In some ways, the sequel is even better, thanks to the singing, dancing and acting chops of Lily James (Baby Driver, Cinderella) as a younger version of free-spirited Donna Sheridan, the role inhabited by Meryl Streep in 2008. Streep is back for the sequel, but only for a brief yet poignant scene in the final minutes of the film (no spoilers). And oh yeah, Cher pops in too – as Donna’s showstopper (and scene-stealer) of a Mom.

Review: The Post

It’s the most timely film of the year without a doubt, with the most respected lead actors on earth, directed by one of America’s favorite directors. It’s a political thriller and a #GirlPower drama all rolled into one. And it’s a true story. Meryl Streep stars as Kay (Katherine) Graham, publisher of The Washington Post. And Tom Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee. The Post is the story of their decision in 1971 to print the Pentagon Papers, a secret 47 volume Defense Department study that revealed decades of government lies about the Viet Nam War. The New York Times had broken the story, but the Nixon White House shut them down with threats of prosecution for espionage. So The Post decided to use the Times’s demise to run with it and print even more of the inflammatory facts. The central question which drives the story is will they get it to print before the Justice Department shuts them down, too.

Mainstream Chick’s Quick Takes: Pete’s Dragon; Florence Foster Jenkins; Hell or High Water

Good news, mainstream movie fans: There really is something for just about everyone at the Box Office this weekend. First, however, I must confess that I missed the screening of Sausage Party and doubt I’ll get around to watching it anytime soon, unless someone wants to send me a Sausage link. Regardless, I suspect the movie is filled with enough raunchy adult animation and humor to entertain a certain demographic. I’ll just leave it at that (for now), and move on to Pete’s Dragon, Florence Foster Jenkins, and Hell or High Water

The best new family film option is Pete’s Dragon, a live-action reimagining of a 1977 Disney flick that I don’t recall watching as a kid, even though it featured music and singing (i.e. how did I miss that one!?) I’m not exactly the target demo anymore for this type of movie, so I borrowed 12-year-old Aaron, 8-year-old Marisa, and their parents for an honest, independent evaluation of this Tarzan-esque meets dragon story. The general consensus: They liked it!

Ricki and the Flash

I had to see this flick, cause you know — Meryl. And there was also Dr. Noah Drake, I mean Rick Springfield of “Jessie’s Girl” fame. How bad could it be? The good news is that it isn’t as bad as I’d heard. But it really isn’t what it could have been. Meryl plays the title character Ricki Rendazzo, formerly Linda Brummel of Indianapolis, now a long-in-the-tooth rock and roll singer with her own band called The Flash playing nightly at a locals bar in Tarzana, California. By day she is a cashier at a health food supermarket, and she can barely make ends meet, but she is content with her life. Then she gets a call from her ex. Her daughter is in trouble and she needs to come back to help. She hasn’t been there for her kids in years, so what could go wrong?

August: Osage County

In the battle of Meryl vs Julia, who will chew more scenery? August: Osage County pits them against each other as the drug addicted Mom versus the only person in her large extended family capable of taking her on. Based on a stage play of the same name, it is a star-studded dramedy about what must be the most dysfunctional family in the state of Oklahoma all coming together after a tragedy. None of them want to be there, and I started to feel the same way, but stuck with it because it’s one of those acting slugfests you just have to see through.

Hope Springs

I had high hopes for Hope Springs. But the film falls flat. The story and the characters are certainly real and relatable. But as in life, real and relatable can be quite boring – even at the hands of a stellar cast. Meryl Streep is excellent (as always) in the role of Kay, a woman whose 31-year marriage to Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) has lost its spark and fallen victim to routine. They love each other. But they don’t seem to be much in love with each other any more. So they venture off to the small town of Great Hope Springs for a week of intensive marriage counseling by renowned author and therapist, Dr. Feld (Steve Carell). Carell plays it surprisingly straight, providing the set-up for some of the film’s more funny and touching moments.

The Iron Lady

Meryl. I think she deserves to be known by one name by now. What an actress! What an amazing variety of roles she has played in the past few years: It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia, Doubt, The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia! and so many others. Now she brings us another of her memorable performances as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Unfortunately, it is not all that good a movie. Yes, Meryl is her usual great self, but Maggie just is not likable or layered. And the script does not help.

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated is a good, solid chick flick – a romantic comedy with two endearing leads in Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It’s also the tamest ‘R’ rated movie I think I’ve ever seen. I’m told the rating had something to do with the inclusion of a pot-smoking scene, which is ironic since unlike The Hangover or Pineapple Express, I highly doubt anyone younger than 40 will attempt to sneak into this one! It’s purely an adult movie with adult themes and humor. Streep plays Jane Adler, a successful, attractive middle-aged divorcee who hooks up with her married ex-husband Jake (Baldwin) while celebrating their son’s graduation from college. Jane and Jake embark on a clandestine affair known only to their soon-to-be son-in-law Harley (played with scene-stealing appeal by The Office’s John Krasinski).