Into the Woods – Out Now – Hollywood Royalty: Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep is one of Hollywood’s most recognized and acclaimed actresses. She has earned three Oscars, seven Golden Globes and two Emmys which are well deserved from her eclectic range of performances.
Streep has the ability to become any character she plays with apparent ease, and when you have played as many varied and extraordinary roles as Ms Streep, that is a tough act to achieve.
Now she takes to the screen as ‘The Witch’ in Rob Marshall’s highly anticipated Into the Woods. In this feature, we take a look at just a few of her best character portrayals to date...
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt: A Parable, Doubt is set in a Catholic school in 1960s The Bronx, New York. A school principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, played by Streep, accuses priest Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of acting inappropriately with a student. Without any evidence, it slowly comes to surface that perhaps this deeply suspicious woman’s accusations are false.
Deeply dark and disturbing, this title sees Streep play a troubled and cynical character with few likeable traits. She is so convincing in her role that she carries the film, alongside co-star Amy Adams, into grim, unmissable territory. The film met with enormous critical acclaim and all three leading actors were nominated for Academy Awards.
Loosely based on the book of the same name, Out of Africa tells the story of a passionate love affair between a Danish woman and a free-spirited big-game hunter (played by Robert Redford) despite her being married to another man (Klaus Maria Brandauer).
Despite mixed critical review, the film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Streep was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Karen, a woman struggling with a tumultuous love life, money problems and adaptations to her new African home.
In this comedy, Streep plays everyone’s worst nightmare of a boss as magazine Editor, Miranda Priestly. We are shocked and awed as we watch her ruthless interactions with her assistant (Anne Hathaway) as she attempts to make her into a proper fashion Editor. The film also has an impressive supporting cast including Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci and Adrian Grenier.
Despite the more frivolous genre of the film, she was still nominated for an Academy Award for an Actress in a Leading Role and won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.
ANGELS IN AMERICA (2003)
Starring three Academy Award winning actors: Emma Thompson, Meryl Streep, and Al Pacino, and directed by the late Mike Nichols is the mini-series Angels in America. The story was adapted from the play of the same name by Tony Kushner and is a political epic about the AIDS crisis during the 1980s.
HBO broadcast the series in various formats, and it was the most-watched made-for-cable film in 2003. It received much critical acclaim, including awards for Best Actor and Actress at the Golden Globes for Pacino and Streep.
The hugely successful Manhattan sees Streep play the ex wife of a troubled television writer (played by Woody Allen) who falls in love with his best friend’s mistress (Diane Keaton) – a situation which is complicated further by the fact that he already has a 17 year old girlfriend.
The film, which was also directed by Woody Allen, is still praised today as one of his greatest successes. It features on various ‘funniest movies’ lists and has even been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, given its ‘cultural significance’.
Moving, heart-warming and funny, this film, written and directed by Nora Ephron, is based on two true stories – the story of the eccentric, yet inspirational American chef, Julia Child, and the blogger who challenged herself to cook her way through Child’s entire cookbook in just one year.
Anyone familiar with Julia Child would agree that Streep’s fantastic portrayal of the character is simply perfect. We fell in love with her all over again, tissue in hand, during this lovely tale of love, dedication, and of course food.
And from light-hearted lovable American chef to powerful British politician, Streep blew audiences away with her portrayal of British ex-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in The Iron Lady.
Although the film itself met with mixed reviews, Streep’s performance itself was captivating and extraordinary, and ultimately earned her another Best Actress Oscar, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
A classic Meryl Streep riot, and for anyone that grew up in the 1990s, one never to be forgotten, this dark comedy also stars Goldie Hawn, who plays Streep’s long-time rival.
Old friends Madeline (Streep) and Helen (Hawn) fight it out to the death, and beyond, for the affection of Dr Ernest Menville (played by Bruce Willis), after taking a potion that promises eternal youth.
The film wasn’t met with wide critical acclaim, but it did become a commercial success, grossing $149 million at the box office, and still remains a favourite for many.
We’ve seen the wonderful Ms Streep play a nun, a celebrity chef, a terrifying magazine Editor and even a Prime Minister, and her next jaunt onto our screens as ‘The Witch’ in Into The Woods looks set to be equally exciting for fans of this versatile actress.
Alongside stars including Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and James Corden, this Disney adventure is one not to be missed.
INTO THE WOODS IS OUT NOW