Jan 13
2020

Big congrats to the team of “Little Women” on receiving 6 Academy Award nominations this morning. While the team leader Greta Gerwig was snubbed for a Best Director nomination, the film received nominations for Best Picture, Leading Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Actress in a Supporting Role (Florence Pugh), Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran), Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and for Best Adapted Screenplay (Greta Gerwig). “Little Women” marks only the sixth movie in Meryl Streep’s career to receive a nomination for Best Picture – the other being “The Deer Hunter” (winning), “Kramer vs. Kramer” (winning), “Out of Africa” (winning), “The Hours” and “The Post”. The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Jan 05
2020

According to The New York Times on December 29, Sony’s “Little Women,” an adaptation by Greta Gerwig of Alcott’s 19th-century, coming-of-age novel, sold an estimated $16.5 million in tickets at domestic theaters Friday through Sunday. That places it in a dead heat for third place with Disney’s “Frozen 2,” now in its sixth weekend in theaters. Final counts on Monday will determine which film placed third. Regardless, it was a good weekend for “Little Women,” which opened on Christmas Day and finished the weekend with $29 million in estimated cumulative sales. An all-star cast doubtlessly helped sell moviegoers on “Little Women” — Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep are in it — and the movie got terrific reviews (it currently holds a 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Audiences were clearly eager to see Gerwig’s follow-up to “Lady Bird,” her 2017 movie about an angsty teenage girl that was among the most critically lauded films of the decade. And so far, while not being treated a “major awards player” in the Best Picture or Best Director category, the “Little Women” have received 14 nominations so far from various awards groups in the Best Ensemble category.

  Boston Society of Film Critics Awards – Best Ensemble
  Boston Online Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
  AARP Movies for Grownups Awards – Best Ensemble
  Alliance of Women Film Journalists – Best Ensemble Cast
  Critics Choice Award – Best Ensemble
  Austin Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
  Central Ohio Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
  Georgia Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
  Florida Film Critics Circle Awards – Best Ensemble
  Indiana Film Journalists Association – Best Ensemble Acting
  Chicago Indie Critics Awards – Best Ensemble
  Online Association of Female Film Critics – Best Acting Ensemble
  Seattle Film Critics Awards – Best Ensemble Cast
  Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards – Best Acting Ensemble

Dec 30
2019

Upon reviewing Meryl Streep’s work this decade, let’s remind ourselves where we’re coming from. The 2000s were probably her career’s most exciting period since the 1980s. As many actresses in their 40s, Streep took a backseat in the 1990s – the only profitable or relevant film she did back then was “The Bridges of Madison County”. Films like “One True Thing” and “Music of the Heart” were appreciated and Oscar-nominated, but stood little comparison to the big classics Streep did in the 1980s. So in the 2000s, after a screen absence of three years, Streep returned big time with “Adaptation” and “The Hours”, then with the miniseries “Angels in America” on television. Two years later, she played one of her most iconic roles in “The Devil Wears Prada”, topped it off with a big box office success with “Mamma Mia” and closed the decade with two Oscar-nominated performances in “Doubt” and “Julie & Julia”. In short, the 2000s not only validated her star status, but something new Meryl Streep has rarely been in her career before – a bankable star. The 2000s were something of a Streep renaissance.

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Dec 11
2019

The bad news first – Meryl Streep did not score an individual Screen Actors Guild Award for “Big Little Lies” this morning. A possible “snub” was plausibe since the SAG Awards do not split categories between leading and supporting actresses in television, so you either make it into the lead category, or you don’t. However, Streep and the rest of the “Big Little Lies” cast received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, which is the SAG’s equivalent for the main drama prize. So it’s good news really, “Big Little Lies” was an ensemble piece from the start and this way, each character actor from a show gets a due recognition for their fine work on season two. “Big Little Lies” shares the category with “The Crown”, “Game of Thrones”, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Stranger Things”. The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be handed out during a live ceremony on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Big Little Lies
The Crown
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things

Dec 09
2019

Congratulations to Meryl Streep for receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for “Big Little Lies”. She shares the category with Patricia Arquette (The Act), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Toni Collette (Unbelievable) and Emily Watson (Chernobyl). Big Little Lies has received a total 3 nominations, also for Best Television Series Drama and in the Lead Actress category for Nicole Kidman. Little Women has received 2 nominations – for Best Actress in a Drama (Saoirse Ronan) and for Alexandre Desplat’s score. However, the film was “overlooked” in the Best Picture, Director and Screenplay categories. The three-hour telecast hosted by Ricky Gervais will air live on NBC coast to coast Sunday, January 5, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.

Big Little Lies – 3 nominations
Best Television Series – Drama
Best Actress in a Drama Series – Nicole Kidman
Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep

Little Women – 2 nominations
Best Actress (Drama) – Saoirse Ronan
Best Score – Alexandre Desplat

Dec 09
2019

Today, Meryl Streep has received two Critics Choice Award nominations – as part of the ensemble of “Little Women” and as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Big Little Lies”. She shares the category with six other ladies – Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Laura Dern (Big Little Lies), Audra McDonald (The Good Fight), her Hope Springs co-star Jean Smart (Watchmen) and Susan Kelechi Watson (This Is Us). In the ensemble category, “Little Women” competes against Bombshell, The Irishman, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Parasite. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics’ Choice Awards gala, which will once again be hosted by film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs, and broadcast live on The CW Television Network on Sunday, January 12 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT).

Little Women – 9 nominations
Best Picture
Best Actress – Saoirse Ronan
Best Supporting Actress – Florence Pugh
Best Acting Ensemble
Best Director – Greta Gerwig
Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig
Best Production Design – Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman
Best Costume Design – Jacqueline Durran
Best Score – Alexandre Desplat

Big Little Lies – 3 nominations
Best Actress in a Drama Series – Nicole Kidman
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Laura Dern
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Meryl Streep

Nov 25
2019

The initial batch of all very positive reviews are in for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women”. The adaptation had a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes as of Monday morning. The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney wrote that the film is “gratifying.” He added that Gerwig brings “freshness, vitality and emotional nuance to source material” that has been adapted multiple times. “Gerwig skillfully navigates the line between respecting the story’s old-fashioned bones while illuminating the modernity of its proto-feminist perspective, only occasionally leaning into speechy advocacy of a woman’s right to self-actualization beyond marriage,” Rooney wrote. He added that the cast “may be slightly bound by their canonical character types, but there’s lovely ensemble work here.” After praising the individual performances, specifically Ronan and Pugh, Rooney added that the film is “pleasingly paced.” He concluded, “Gerwig has taken a treasured perennial of popular American literature and reshaped it for a new generation, which should give the captivating film a long shelf life.”

Kate Erbland of IndieWire also gave Little Women a positive review. The critic noted that while Gerwig “modernized the book’s timeless story in unexpected ways,” it’s clear the director has “affection for the original, and keenly aware of how the concerns of Alcott and the March sisters (loosely based on the author’s own family) have never quite abated, no matter the time.” Erbland wrote that Ronan’s performance was “vibrant,” while Pugh’s interpretation of Amy “has more dimension than we’ve seen in previous cinematic adaptations of Alcott’s book.” She added that Little Women has its flaws, including when Watson speaks with an American accent and that “a handful of characters aren’t given nearly as much dimension as the sisters.” Erbland concluded,”Gerwig’s Little Women offers its own delightful storybook polish, in its own unique terms, and what a comfort that is.”

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Nov 16
2019

Alan J. Pakula, who died in 1998 at the age of 70 in an auto accident, was a most unusual filmmaker. Though his peers, including Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, George Lucas and William Friedkin, were as well-known as the stars of their films, Pakula stayed out of the limelight and let his films speak for themselves. And what films – some of the most memorable titles of the last half century. The AFI Fest in Hollywood is paying tribute to Pakula with free screenings of “Sterile Cuckoo,” “Klute” and “Sophie’s Choice” and a free screening Sunday evening of Matthew Miele’s thoughtful new documentary, “Alan Pakula: Going for Truth.” That film features insightful and often emotional interviews with Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda and Dustin Hoffman, co-workers and family and numerous clips. Streep, Hoffman and Ford recently talked to The Los Angeles Times about what made Pakula such a powerful filmmaker and person. The quotes have been edited for clarity and brevity. You can watch the trailer for “Alan Pakula: Going for Truth” on Youtube. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

I think he really laid a map of integrity for artists, and that, more than anything, is his legacy for me. He was such a moral filmmaker. It’s like an old-fashioned idea, but he was. He was a moral man and he had a backbone. He loved women and respected them. So I mean it was that thing where you feel listened to instead of tolerated. It’s a really a great, great quality. All the best male directors have it. All the best female directors have it naturally.

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Nov 04
2019

Backstage has a very interesting interview with Meryl Streep’s stunt-coordinator from “The Laundromat”. Stunt coordinators have one of the most high-pressure jobs in the biz: keeping actors and everybody else on set safe. So imagine the pressure, then, when one of those actors happens to be Meryl Streep. Charlie Croughwell can attest, however, the stunt coordination veteran kept his cool working with Streep on “The Laundromat.” The Stephen Soderbergh feature, now streaming on Netflix, features one of Streep’s most involved stunts to date wherein a boat capsizes. Croughwell, along with his daughter who happens to be Streep’s stunt double, greeted the feat with aplomb—and he tells Backstage all about it, from pre-production meetings with Miss Meryl, to how he kept one of the greatest living actors out of harm’s way so she could deliver her best performance. The full interview can be read over at Backstage with many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up!

Anytime we have someone interacting with a body of water, we need to assess their comfort level. I let production know that I needed to get Meryl’s take on her comfort with water scenes and that we would need to get her in the tank at [a dive facility]. I needed to see how comfortable she is not only swimming but breathing from an air source. I had two dive masters as well as her stunt double and two water safety people on the day. We laid out all of the dive equipment we could have possibly needed: a wetsuit for Meryl, towels, showers. Her assistant arrived a bit before her, checked over the plan and we waited. Only a few minutes went by and up pulled Meryl. We went out to greet her. Once out of the car I began explaining to her the process we had planned and that she would be in different clothing on the day. The pro she is, she said, “These are the clothes I’ll be wearing and I’m very comfortable with what I need to do.” With that, we went into the tank area, she jumped in, we all jumped in and within 30 minutes we were done and she was on her way.

Oct 19
2019

Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” has been released on Netflix, yesterday. I’m really glad it’s on Netflix, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I have just seen the first time. After the second time, it made much more sense. And I assume that after the third watch it’s actually a damn good movie :-) But after the first watch, this is one of the most absurd projects to find in Meryl’s filmography. It won’t be a player at the Oscars, but I think a Golden Globe nomination for Meryl Streep is very much possible. As I keep this little review spoiler-free, it’s impossible to write anything about her performance, with the exception that she takes the general moviegoers’ general idea of a Midwestern granny to a whole new level. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery, which contain a lot of spoilers, so please watch it first, it’s worth the surprise.



Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – Screencaptures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – On-Set Picures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – Production Stills