Sep 21
2020

The TV industry’s shiniest night of the year, a.k.a. the Primetime Emmy Awards, looked much different this year, given the never-ending pandemic. The ceremony’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, was literally fired up to emcee the festivities again, this time from the mostly vacant Staples Center in L.A., with winners accepting awards remotely, virtually, and digitally. If you tuned in just for Meryl, there wasn’t much to see. She was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Big Little Lies” along her co-star Laura Dern as well as Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Sarah Snook (Succession), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Thandie Newton (Westworld), but “lost” to Ozark’s Julia Garner, and wasn’t featured by camera during the nominations. Garner took to Instagram after winning the Emmy to praise her fellow nomninees, including Meryl: “Also I want to give a special thanks to Meryl Streep, who wasn’t on the zoom call tonight. When I was 15 I watched Sophie’s Choice and it made me want to be an actress. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for you. And thank god because I don’t really know how to do anything else!! So thank you. Love to you all!!” The category segment can be watched below and in the video archive.

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Video Archive – Award Ceremonies – 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)

Sep 08
2020

On September 06, Meryl Streep has joined the National Domestic Workers Alliance to pay tribute to the lives and work of essential workers. As per their website: Together we’ll issue a powerful call for transformation in honor of the people that we’ve lost and to fight for the working people who are essential to our economy and society. These essential workers are disproportionately Black and other women of color, immigrant, and other communities in the margins. We have a responsibility and opportunity to create an inclusive future that ensures that everyone is treated with dignity and respect–through raising pay and workplace standards, improving safety, and increasing worker power in the workplace. Meryl’s segment starts at 1:15:43

Aug 06
2020

At the beginning of this year, some of the biggest names in Texas media left their respective organizations to begin a new one. Former Texas Tribune Editor Emily Ramshaw and Chief Audience Officer Amanda Zam­mora founded the 19th*, a national nonprofit newsroom focused on the “unfinished business of the 19th Amendment” granting (white) American women the vote in 1920. Andrea Valdez, formerly editor-in-chief of the Texas Observer, fills the same role at the 19th, and Errin Haines, previously national writer on race for the Associated Press, is editor-at-large. Next week, Aug. 10-14, the nascent enterprise is bringing together some more big names of American politics and culture in a “virtual summit,” the 19th Repre­sents. Speakers including Stacey Abrams, Alicia Garza, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Meryl Streep will headline discussions on the intersection of race and gender issues, voting rights, and electability. Updated: As part of The 19th Represents, Award-winning actors Meryl Streep and Zoe Saldaña perform excerpts from historic speeches by American suffragists – women like Inez Milholland; Sojourner Truth; Crystal Eastman and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, who fought not just for the right to vote, but for racial justice for women. The 19th Represents is the inaugural summit of The 19th News, a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy. To learn more about The 19th, visit summit.19thnews.org.

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Video Archive – Miscellaneous – The 19th Represents: Voices of Suffrage (2020)

Jul 28
2020

Big congratulations to Meryl Streep for receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination earlier today as Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series for “Big Little Lies”. She shares the crowded category with Laura Dern for “Big Little Lies”, Fiona Shaw for “Killing Eve”, Julia Garner for “Ozark”, Sarah Snook for “Succession”, Helena Bonham Carter for “The Crown”, Samira Wiley for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Thandie Newton for “Westworld”. “Big Litte Lies” fared ok in the overall nominations with five, although only two actresses – Dern and Streep – made the cut. The other nominations come in the categories for Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Program, Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series and Outstanding Contemporary Makeup. In comparison, the first season of “Big Little Lies” scored 16 nominations in 2017, winning 8 – including for Outstanding Limited Series and its stars, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard. Meryl Streep’s track record at the Emmys is equally impressive – she has won 3 Emmys out of 4 nominations so far – as an actress for “Holocaust” in 1979 and “Angels in America” in 2004 as well as a narrator for the Netflix documentary “Five Came Back” in 2017. The Emmys will be handed out on September 20, 2020. Edit: Meryl’s management forwarded the following reaction to various news outlets:

Thank you!!! I am very honored to be in the company of such gifted women, who have helped us all get through this screen centered moment in time!”

Jul 15
2020

In a coming attractions trailer, HBO Max gives us a first look at “Let Them All Talk”, and Entertainmnent Weekly writes about it: Let them all talk… about Meryl Streep’s arrival on HBO Max. The streaming platform picked up the rights to the Oscar winner’s new movie with director Steven Soderbergh early in the shelf life of the service, and now the streamer has snuck in the first look at the actress’ latest eye-turning performance in Let Them All Talk. Tucked away around the 1:52 time stamp of the latest trailer for HBO Max’s upcoming offerings is a look at this gem, which also stars Dianne Wiest (Edward Scissorhands), Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown), Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea), and Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians). “Here’s to reconnecting the gang of three,” Streep says as her author character, who takes a cruise with her besties, played by Wiest and Bergen. Based on Bergen’s next line, it seems there’s a lot of self-reflection involved with this trip. “Who’s the real you?” she questions. “Does anybody trust you?” Meanwhile, off in the quiet corners of the film (and the trailer), there’s Hedges, playing Streep’s nephew, trying to romance Streep’s literary agent (Chan). The trailer briefly highlights a number of other programming, including Jude Law in HBO’s limited series The Third Day, Ridley Scott and Aaron Guzikowski’s Raised By Wolves sci-fi series for HBO Max, and The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco in the series The Flight Attendant. Then there are the more heavily promoted shows like HBO’s Perry Mason and Lovecraft Country, and HBO Max’s Seth Rogen-led film American Pickle.

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Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Let Them All Talk – Teaser trailer screencaptures

Jun 13
2020

We conclude our weekly series on Meryl Streep’s films of the 1990s, which started 12 weeks ago and was originally designed with the thought that our lives would have been back to normal 3 months later. Unfortunately this is not yet the case. To all visitors, readers and friends, stay healthy and strong. And enjoy a Saturday dose of “Music of the Heart” if your’e strong enough :-)

The combination of Wes Craven and Meryl Streep in the late 1990s seemed like the most far-fetched idea Hollywood could offer around that time. After all, Craven had single handedly revived the slasher genre with „Scream“, the following films in the franchise and countless knock-offs of who did what when during Summer vacation. Of course, Craven wasn’t new to the genre – he created „A Nightmare on Elm Street“ in 1984, significantly mixed horror cliches with humor and satire and became the „Master of Horror“ for legions of fans. So, what could he possibly be filming with Meryl Streep, if it wasn’t a part of Ghostface’s crazy mother? The story behind the making of „Music of the Heart“ is a prime example to never judge a book by its cover, nevermind how bloody or gory it may be.

“Music of the Heart” tells the story of real-life teacher Roberta Guaspari as she rebounds from a painful divorce and moves to New York with her two sons to start what’s become the hugely popular East Harlem Violin Program. “I wouldn’t have the ability to play the violin. I never would have even thought about it without the gift of that program,” she said during a interview with the Los Angeles Times prior to the film’s release. „“The only reason that I’ve fought so hard through the years is that I love teaching, and I don’t want to stop. The only thing that’s changed in my life now is that I’ve got 10 more things to do all the time.” Guaspari hesitated when Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein asked to do a feature based on her life, and then told her that a man known for horror films would direct the project. “I was really frightened, to be quite honest. It was like selling myself to have to put my life up on the screen. All of my friends and family said, ‘No, don’t let them do it,’ ” Guaspari says. But she is satisfied that Weinstein and Craven kept their promise to take care of her story, though it is one that presents a slightly warmer classroom atmosphere than the more disciplined learning environment favored by the real-life instructor.

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Jun 06
2020

„Dancing at Lughnasa“ remais a curiosity in Streep’s filmography, but a lovely one. Brian Friel’s play about five unmarried sisters in 1930s Ireland was a runaway hit after ist 1990 premiere in Dublin and later London, winning the Olivier Award for Best Play, followed by its transition to Broadway the next year and winning the Tony for Best Play and a Best Featured Actress award for Brit Brennan. But besides its success on the stage, „Lughnasa“ was never a dead-ringer to become a box office hit in theatres. Streep’s casting secured the film an international spotlight and decent reviews, but it struggled to find a mainstream audience. Today, „Dancing at Lughnasa“ reigns among Streep’s fine work in the 90s, but is often forgotten to be mentioned at all.

Friel’s story explores themes which were central to Irish cinema and to Irish culture more generally in the 20th century, namely, emigration; the position of women in Ireland (rural) society, including illegitimacy, being unmarried and working at backbreaking labour; the relationship between the legacy of popular ‘pagan’ religious practice and the institutional church; and the point-of-view of a young boy recalling his childhood and the events which formed him. In 1936, five sisters live in quiet desperation in the small town of Ballybeg in Donegal.The eldest sister, Kate, a local schoolteacher is a woman of rigid beliefs. On the surface she is a formidable woman,a little feared but deeply loved by all of her sisters, especially Maggie, who has a kind benevolent heart, a wicked sense of humour and a wild fondness for life. Agnes is a quiet, deep woman with secret reserves of courage. She is devoted to Rose, who is simple, frightened of no danger because she does not know any. Rose has embarked on a relationship with a local married man, Danny Bradley much to the concern of her sisters. Christina, the youngest, has defied the strict morality of her society and given birth to a love child, Michael. All of their lives are thrown into turmoil by the re-emergence of two men. The first is their brother Father Jack, a missionary long lost to the ways of African culture who has returned home. The second man is Gerry Evans, Michael’s father – a Welsh travelling salesman who sweeps in and out of Christina’s life as if he had no cares or responsibilities in the world. He has returned to see his son and to stir Christina’s emotions up once more before leaving to fight in the Spanish Civil War. The impending arrival of a woollen factory threatens what paltry income Agnes, Rose and Christina earn from knitting gloves and falling school numbers leaves Kate without a job. As the oldest sister, Kate feels responsible to keep the family dynamics together, in the most stubborn way possible.

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May 30
2020

Only three films remain for our coverage of Streep in the 1990s. All three fall into the category „films that wouldn’t be made today“ or “there wouldn’t be an audience at all”. Truth to the bold, it’s a miracle these films were released theatrically in the 1990s anyway, was it not a testament to Streep’s star power to greenlight projects about cancer, dancing sisters in Ireland and music teachers. Such is the case for „One True Thing“, which, on the outside, looks like a movie-of-the-week on Lifetime, a problem film for the privilegded white, or a film about noble housewives whose equally invested into flower arrangements as she is into her illness. But as the film looms on you with beautifully photographed scenery, it cuts deep – and reminds you why Streep has been recognized as one of the best character actresses of her time. In „One True Thing“, Streep delivers one of her most touching performances of the decade.

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May 23
2020

A deeply personal story from America’s funniest director sheds light on a family’s struggle with a child’s epilepsy and the American healthcare system. In one of her rare appearances on television, Meryl Streep plays a tiger mother going to lenghts to find a miracle that can cure her sick child.

I don’t think any director has made us laugh more in the 1980s and 1990s than Jim Abrahams, best known as a member of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker team that brought us “Airplane”, “Top Secret”, “Ruthless People” and “The Naked Gun” series. But Abrahams’ private life took a serious turn when his young son was diagnosed with epilepsy. Charlie would convulse and lose consciousness. Medications didn’t help. As his seizures continued, his cognitive abilities slowly deteriorated. Jim, who wasn’t a medical doctor, decided to start investigating alternative treatments. After days in the library looking through books and medical journals, he found a book on childhood epilepsy written by Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The book described that a diet that mimics the metabolism of starvation by cutting most dietary sources of carbohydrates and proteins could in some cases cure drug-resistant childhood epilepsy. Ignoring the warnings of the staff at the boy’s hospital, Jim transferred his son to the epilepsy center in Maryland, and Charlie was started on the diet. The young boy immediately showed improvements in his condition, and a couple of years later he became seizure free. Even the mental setback turned out to be reversible.

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May 19
2020

Brace yourself for Meryl Streep’s best performance of the year – if not the decade! (we’re quite early into the decade, I know). She has joined director Taika Waititi, who is partnering with the Roald Dahl Story Company to read the beloved children’s novel “James and the Giant Peach” across ten installments. This star-studded reading of James and the Giant Peach is part of a campaign to raise funds for the global health non-profit Partners in Health, which is tackling the Covid-19 pandemic in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. The Roald Dahl Story Company has announced that it will match donations up to $1 million to charities impacted by the global health crisis, such as the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity in the UK. The first two installments are both available to watch now, with remaining episodes to be released on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In the second episode, Meryl and former co-star Benedict Cumberbatch take on the roles of evil sisters Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. You won’t find anything more entertaining to watch right now, so sit back and enjoy.