June 30, 2006 (USA)
Lauren Weisberger (novel), Aline Brosh McKenna
Small-town girl Andrea (Anne Hathaway) is hired to work as the second assistant of the powerful and sophisticated Miranda
Priestly (Meryl Streep), the ruthless and merciless executive of the Runway fashion magazine - a job "million girls would
kill for". Andrea dreams to become a journalist and faces the opportunity as a temporary professional challenge. As the weeks
progress, Andrea changes her attitude, affecting her private life and the relationship with her boyfriend and friends. She
has to face the challenges of what's more important in her life.
Cast & Characters
Meryl Streep (Miranda Priestly), Anne Hathaway (Andy Sachs), Emily Blunt (Emily), Stanley Tucci (Nigel), Adrian Grenier (Nate), Tracie Thoms (Lilly), Rich Sommer (Doug), Simon Baker (Christian Thompson), Daniel Sunjata (James Holt), Jimena Hoyos (Lucia), Rebecca Mader (Jocelyn), Tibor Feldman (Irv Ravitz), Stephanie Szostak (Jaqueline Follet), David Marshall Grant (Richard Barnes)
In "The Devil Wears Prada", Meryl Streep is Miranda Priestly, the reigning queen of
fashion whose whims can start and end careers. Director David Frankel, who explored the
vagaries of fashion and celebrity in the landmark series "Sex in the City" and "Entourage","
says that instead of making the obvious choice to demonize Miranda, he preferred "to
explore Miranda’s relentless pursuit of excellence in a serious way," he says. "And how
many sacrifices she must make to excel. "There are lots of famous women who are successful
on the level of Miranda Priestly, and it is very easy to criticize them because they put
their work first," Frankel continues. "Men are rarely criticized for that." "Miranda has
an incredible amount of power in the marketplace," says Meryl Streep. "She’s a taste- and
trend-maker and therefore a market-setter. She functions with a lot of pressure, and she
runs a very tight ship."
Unfortunately, we don't have enough women in power so most of my models for this character were of the
male persuasion. Compared to the people that I used as inspirations, Miranda is well-behaved. She's almost like a diplomat
compared to some very, very, very powerful people in the film business. The anticipation for the film is almost bloody in
that people are longing to go after Anna Wintour, or any woman in a powerful position. People love this story because they
think that the knives are out, and that makes for good anticipation at the box office. But I was interested in portraying
a woman in a powerful position, and showing exactly how hard she has to work to stay there. (Meryl Streep, The Sunday
Telegraph, August 2006)
Streep’s Miranda, Frankel points out, skates the edge between the comically mean and the
genuinely sad. "A key part of Meryl’s incredible talent is the ability to blend comedy and
drama," he says. "She can find what’s funny in the real so that it never feels forced."
Streep plunged headlong into all the accoutrements that surround Miranda. "When we first
met her I gave her a huge three-ringed binder full of research regarding the movie and
fashion," recalls producer Wendy Finerman. "It included fashion industry facts, figures,
and photos, and I thought, ‘Oh God, she’s going to laugh at me.’ But instead she said,
'That’s fantastic! Do you have any more?' She read everything she could get her hands on."
Anne Hathaway, the breakout star of "The Princess Diaries" and "Brokeback Mountain", portrays Andy, a journalism
student who believes she can change the world after leaving the comforts of Northwestern
University and landing in the big city. "When Miranda first meets Andy," says Streep, "it’s
at the end of a series of disappointments she’s had with other assistants. Andy comes in
with an amazing resume, and Miranda takes a chance on her because she doesn’t fit the
mold of the typical Runway employee." For once, Miranda, known for her unpredictability,
hires the "smart, fat girl" instead of the "stylish, slender, disappointing" type that
usually trails after her. Though "The Devil Wears Prada" is set in the rarefied world of
fashion, Andy’s journey with Miranda is universal in its theme of a young person finding
her way. "What happens to her is very character-forming," Hathaway says. "As she changes,
she realizes it’s important to commit not necessarily to success, but to succeed on your
It had a very successful run in theaters, making nearly $125 million in the United States and over $325 million worldwide.
Initial reviews of the film focused primarily on Streep's performance, praising her for making an extremely unsympathetic
character far more complex than she had been in the novel. "With her silver hair and pale skin, her whispery diction as
perfect as her posture, Ms. Streep's Miranda inspires both terror and a measure of awe," wrote A. O. Scott in The New
York Times. "No longer simply the incarnation of evil, she is now a vision of aristocratic, purposeful and surprisingly
human grace." Kyle Smith agreed at the New York Post: "The snaky Streep wisely chooses not to imitate Vogue editrix Anna
Wintour, the inspiration for the book, but creates her own surprisingly believable character." Award juries agreed - Meryl
Streep won her career's sixth Golden Globe for her peformance as Miranda and earned yet another Academy Award nomination
as Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Simply Streep's Review
This review is written 10 years after the film's release, and I can say it turns out more positive than it would have 10 years
ago. Back then, I loathed the idea of Meryl Streep starring in a by-the-numbers fashion movie with the old story of a young woman in
the Big Apple with its glossy Sex and the City look. I couldn't find a reason why Streep would do such a film, after her "comeback" in the arthouse successes "Adaptation"
and "The Hours", not to mention the formidable "Angels in America". The film, while I still wouln't call it a favorite, is better
than my expectation, and by the account of many even better than the book. What makes it better than the rest is its heart at
the right place. Even if you ignore all the fashion and clothes, it tells you a thing or two about working in competitive
environments and about leading a company as a minority (in this case, a woman). The story is predictable, as is the Andy
character. You know by the beginning that Andy will be lured into this world to learn her lesson and leave it a better person.
Anne Hathaway feels tailor made for this wide-eyed role of the ingénue, and the film did great things for her career. The same
can be said about Emily Blunt in her breakthrough performance. She is the comic relief, together with Stanley Tucci. But it's
Streep's performance that makes the movie. It's her subtle and underrated performance of a woman in a powerful position, who
pays her price in her private life to stay on top. Critics have predicted it upon its release and its become a fact that
Streep delivers one of her classic performances here. "Sophie's Choice" may be the best cinematic performance we've seen, but
"The Devil Wears Prada" is what young and mainstream audiences relate to Meryl Streep's signature work.
Awards & Nominations for Meryl Streep
Golden Globe Award as Best Actress Comedy/Musical
London Film Critics - Actress of the Year
National Society Award as Best Supporting Actress
Women Film Critics Circle as Best Actress
Alliance of Women Film Journalists as Best Actress
Academy Award as Best Actress
Screen Actors Guil Award as Best Actress
Critics Choice Award as Best Actress Comedy/Musical
St. Louis Film Critics as Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award as Best Actress
(Runner-Up) New York Film Critics Circle Award as Best Actress
(Runner-Up) Boston Film Critics Circle Award as Best Actress