Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, July 08, 2016

Enjoying some Meryl Streep movie magic this summer

While I have plenty of great reading available to me this summer, a pop culture person can not live by book alone. Since most of the TV programming this season is either winding down or simply in a slump, I find myself looking to my DVD collection and starting to watch Meryl Streep movies.

Mind you, I don't have a lot of her films and I didn't intend to do my own version of The Meryl Streep Movie Club(which is a wonderful novel by Mia March,btw). It just began innocently enough as talk of a certain film's tenth anniversary started to make the rounds on the entertainment shows and websites lately.

It's hard to believe that it was only ten years ago that The Devil Wears Prada hit the theaters, with Streep owning the role of Miranda Priestly, the fashion magazine boss from hell. While the character is loosely based on real world editor Anna Wintour(as is the novel by Lauren Weisberger that it's based on), Streep breathes more life into Miranda than her literary counterpart,making her feel authentic.

One of the best scenes in the film9and a personal favorite of mine) is one that was originally cut in first drafts of the script but Meryl asked to have restored. Yes, the infamous "blue sweater" speech, where Miranda shows that her haughty attitude and seemingly impossible standards are not just due to mere bitchiness.

 In this scene and many others, Miranda often uses her position to quell any hints of snobbery about the fashion industry and how trivial it may seem to others. Granted, she's still hard to work with and for but at least we get a glimpse of why this stylish corner of the world has true meaning for her:

Then the other night, I found myself watching Julie & Julia, which is based on two books(a quick look at my Meryl movies tells me that I chose to own mostly literary adaptations that she's in).

While the title refers to the Julie Powell memoir about her year long blog project to make every recipe in Julia Child's classic cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking(which also inspire me to start blogging in the first place), the second narrative in the film belongs to Julia Child herself, using her memoir My Life In France to round out the story.

Even though Julia Child was less than thrilled by Julie Powell's project(which is mentioned in the film), both ladies did share a solid love of cooking and French cuisine that enriched their lives as well as the lives of others. Some felt that the Julia portion of the movie was the better half but I think that it compliments the Julie sections as neatly as perfectly shaped puzzled piece.

I will say that the Julia scenes are as rich and inviting as any French feast of foodie delights and at times, most intoxicating to watch:

Since I do have a big movie watching project coming up late this summer, I think that I will re-watch just one more Meryl Streep film and it turns out that The Hours is in my home film library.

This movie not only got me to read the brilliant Michael Cunningham novel that it is adapted from, it also got me interested in Virginia Woolf's work as well. It does help to be familiar with Mrs. Dalloway as this entire story is linked by that one book, from it's troubled author to a troubled housewife in the 1950s to a modern day woman who is practically the living embodiment of the title character.

All three of the main actresses in this film give their parts their all and Nicole Kidman rightfully winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf, Streep's role is not to be discounted. In the end, she becomes more of a key player than she ever knew that she could and would be:

 A new Meryl Streep movie is due out this summer,Florence Foster Jenkins, which is based upon a true story of a clueless yet well meaning woman who attempts to become a beloved opera singer.

Trouble is, she can't sing a note worth hearing and her devoted partner(Hugh Grant) is determined to let her take center stage while shielding her from what people really think of her dubious talents.

It sounds like a lovely movie and more than likely, I'll be seeing it via Netflix in the future.  It can be easy at times to take Meryl Streep for granted(guilty of that myself) but when you take the time to look over her vast array of work. I think it's safe to say that she really is one of those once in a lifetime performers that continues to make marvelous movie history. So, let's enjoy her movie magic as long as it lasts:

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