It’s time once again to go on a Film Journey, and this month we’re talking about the much revered Meryl Streep. She is undeniably Hollywood royalty, and uses her considerable platform to not only promote resistance against current political events – according to lookatthestars.org she also supports 16 charities and foundations, such as Equality Now, Stand Up To Cancer and Artists for Peace and Justice. Supporting the long overdue #MeToo movement, she made herself heard at this year’s Golden Globes, speaking about power imbalance and abuse. Alongside all her valuable campaign work she also manages to continually deliver incredible performances, building on a body of work spanning more than 61 movies to date.
FILM ONE: THE POST (2018)
In this is a drama Meryl Streep plays The Washington Post’s first female publisher Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of any major American newspaper, and the first leader of a Fortune 500 company. She is joining forces with an unlikely ally, editor Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks. Together they race against The New York Times working to expose a large-scale cover-up of government secrets spanning no less than three decades under four U.S. Presidents. In the name of truth, they put their careers at risk, and jeopardise their personal freedom. Two much-loved acting greats on the big screen together, I’ll most certainly watch that one!
During an HBO Screening Room interview with Streep and the films director Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks said:
‘Those who don’t know their own history are condemned to repeat it’.
Interesting, how a story dealing with censorship and objection to facts in a bygone era can be so incredibly relevant today.
FILM TWO: SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1983)
Next up is a classic, and a tough watch for it’s topic. In this, Streep plays Sophie Zawistowski, a polish holocaust surviver. And she does it brilliantly. Sophie has an edge, she is fragile and strong, and she has a soul destroying story to tell. She falls in love with Nathan Landau, played by Kevin Kline, who suffers from a violent temper. His apparent mental illness and Sophie’s demons make their relationship one of great pain, despite or because of their equally great passion.
We don’t want to give any spoilers, because the title is what it’s all about. If you have not seen this film, and don’t know anything about the story, the choice Sophie is confronted with is not likely one you will or want to see coming. It’s an incredibly tough one to even think about.
FILM THREE: HOPE SPRINGS (2012)
Our last film is a much lighter one, and gathers a plethora of great acting talent. Streep plays Kay, a middle aged housewife, whose marriage with husband Arnold, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is anything but passionate. Their biggest adventure these days is getting a cable subscription, until Kay learns about a renowned couples therapist in the small town of Great Hope Springs and embarks on a pilgrimage to spice up her 31 year marriage. Arnold is a man of habit and routine, and so Steve Carell in the role of the therapist has to work miracles. It’s a heartwarming romantic comedy, with a great deal of heart and understanding. We won’t tell you how it all turns out.
We have 4, although it’s not an easy feat to select only a few out of such an incredible body of work:
Florence Foster Jenkins
Kramer VS Kramer
August: Osage County
The Iron Lady