The National Board of Review announced its 2013 honorees on Dec. 4, with Her, Nebraska, and Fruitvale Station claiming some of the top prizes. That meant the only real suspense last night at the organization’s New York City gala was who would win the crowd and earn the best howls. Rob Reiner nearly stole the show, but it was Meryl Streep who brought down the house at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street. Streep, presenting the Best Actress award to Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks, left her friend “nauseous with gratitude” with a heart-felt introduction that also took swipes at Walt Disney and the Disney brand. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Meryl Streep (21-30 of 59)
Family drama — just in time for the holidays.
In August: Osage Country, the star-studded adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play about an Oklahoma family “marinating in its own miserablism,” as EW’s Owen Gleiberman referred to the plot in his review at the Toronto Film Festival, Meryl Streep portrays an aging matriarch presiding over her husband’s funeral. When her grown daughters — Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson — return home, verbal sparks fly as long-brewing conflicts and resentments come to a head.
In an exclusive trailer, below, check out press conference highlights from Streep, Roberts, and director John Wells about how the film came together. “You don’t get a vote in who’s in your family,” Streep explains in the clip. “And that is the story.”
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Home is where the heart is.
That sounds so much better than “Home is where the bile ducts are,” but the latter anatomical metaphor seems better suited to August: Osage County, the star-studded adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play about an Oklahoma family “marinating in its own miserablism,” as EW’s Owen Gleiberman so aptly phrased it.
In the film, which arrives on Christmas Day, Meryl Streep plays the harpyish matriarch who presides over her husband’s funeral — he committed suicide — and drives her three daughters up the wall. Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson play the daughters, who all drag their own adult baggage back into their childhood house.
Norman Rockwell would spit-take on his canvas when he sees the “family photo” that serves as the film’s poster.
Click below for the film’s trailer, which showcases the amazing supporting cast of Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, and Misty Upham. READ FULL STORY
When a movie is based on a celebrated Broadway play, the first question you want to ask is pretty basic: Does it play? In the case of August: Osage County, an adaptation of Tracy Letts’ 2007 Pulitizer Prize-winning stage drama about a feisty Oklahoma family marinating in its own miserablism, the answer is a resounding yes. The fights and insults and sadistic parent-child mind games, the disease and addiction, the decades’ worth of gnarled domestic resentments, the powerhouse acting that sometimes shades into overacting (though in this case I’ll be damned if you could the draw the line)…the movie is red meat for anyone who thrives on confrontation and a certain brand of punchy, in-your-face emotional shock value. Yet the pull of what was happening on screen came, for me, with a major qualification: I went with it, I often enjoyed it, but I didn’t entirely buy it. As a play, August: Osage County might have been designed to make every last person who sees it think: “Thank God for my family! Looking at these raging Middle American crazies, I never realized how much I had to be grateful for!” Which is to say: The film, directed with head-on prosaic craft by John Wells (who made the very sharp downsizing drama The Company Men), is an extremely canny theatrical contraption that spreads its darkness like whipped butter on a roll. Is it a good movie? Let’s call it the feel-good feel-bad domestic snake-pit melodrama of the year. READ FULL STORY
Ready to be “excited and scared”?
Viral video star Sophia Grace Brownlee (of “Sophia Grace and Rosie” fame) will play Red Riding Hood in Disney’s upcoming adaptation of the musical Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall, EW has confirmed.
Into the Woods tells the story of the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), who make a deal with an evil witch (Meryl Streep) in order to conceive. Their journey into the woods brings them face-to-face with many famous fairy tale characters, including Red Riding Hood (Brownlee), The Wolf (Johnny Depp), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), and Jack (Les Miserables’ Daniel Huttlestone) and his magical beans.
For those familiar with the work, the young age of Brownlee may give viewers pause. She’s 10, and will be metaphorically seduced by The Wolf (a.k.a 50-year-old Depp) and then develop a little bloodlust by the end of the movie.
For some context, check out Broadway star Danielle Ferland singing Red Riding Hood’s big number (full of veiled sexual references!) from the Broadway production of Into the Woods:
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Casting Net: Meryl Streep in talks to join 'The Giver,' set to reunite with Robert De Niro; Plus more
• You know filmmakers mean business when they cast two Oscar winners to star in their adaptation of a best-seller. Meryl Streep is set to star as Hildy Good, the main character of Ann Leary’s The Good House. Hildy is a grandmother, a real-estate broker, and an alcoholic. The book is set a year after her family tried to intervene, when Hildy starts to immerse herself in the sordid secrets of her Massachusetts town as she befriends, and then tries to protect, a younger transplant named Rebecca, who has yet to be cast. Robert De Niro, who starred with Streep in The Deer Hunter, Falling in Love, and Marvin’s Room, will play Frank, a fellow resident of the town who Hildy reconnects with. Michael Cunningham (The Hours) is writing the adaptation, and there is currently no director attached. [Deadline]
• Streep is also in talks to join Jeff Bridges in the adaptation of The Giver, where she’d play the part of the Chief Elder. Bridges plays The Giver and relative unknown Brenton Thwaites will play Jonas in the big screen take on Lois Lowry’s new classic. Production is expected to begin in South Africa in two months, with Phil Noyce directing. [Deadline]
The latest stars to be subjected to “yes, but can they sing?” scrutiny: Heartthrobs Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine, potentially. EW has confirmed that Gyllenhaal is in talks to join Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods, the 1987 Stephen Sondheim musical about interwoven fairy tales. Deadline writes that Pine, too, is in talks for the film, though his rep would not confirm the news.
The actors are up for the roles of Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince. There’s no word yet on which would be playing which. (Cinderella’s Prince is the bigger part, though.)
If their deals go through, Gyllenhaal and Pine will join a cast that already includes Meryl Streep (The Witch), Gavin & Stacey‘s James Corden (The Baker), and Johnny Depp (The Wolf, a role traditionally played by the same actor as Cinderella’s Prince in stage productions). A screenplay reading last October featured actors including Anna Kendrick (Cinderella) and Allison Janney (Jack’s Mother), though there’s no word yet on whether any of those actors will be cast in the film.
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August: Osage County (out Nov. 8) may well become the year’s fanciest movie about a trashy family. It’s based on Tracy Letts’ hours-long, Pulitizer prize-winning play (which we said was “horrifyingly, deliciously mesmerizing”) and is directed by John Wells from Letts’ adaptation. The cast is stuffed from every angle with talent: Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia Roberts (as the favorite daughter), and Meryl Streep (as the hated mother).
As the film’s first trailer makes clear, Osage County is a Jenga-like drama of family dysfunction, with funerals and divorces piling atop dinner-table conflicts. Roberts is weary. Streep, with a frizz of black hair, has the juiciest role in the play. Edward Sharpe plays in the background.
Is it foolish to admit I’m most excited for Juliette Lewis?
• Johnny Depp is in talks to join Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 musical that borrows characters from classic Grimm fairy tales while following a baker and his wife as they venture into the woods to find the witch who put a spell on them. Meryl Streep will reportedly play the evil witch, a character originated on Broadway by Bernadette Peters, and Depp would play the baker. Rob Marshall (Chicago) is set to direct the project, and held a script reading in October 2012 with Anna Kendrick reading the role of Cinderella, Patrick Wilson as her Prince, and Megan Hilty as Lucinda, among others. But don’t get too excited — participating in a script reading doesn’t necessarily mean any of them are up for the roles. [Variety]
• Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is going back to his indie roots. He’s currently in talks to secure the financing that would allow him to write, direct and star in Chef, a comedy about a chef in Los Angeles. Favreau became known for writing and starring in 1996’s Swingers, but in the 2000s he transitioned into directing (and sometimes acting in) big budget productions such as Elf, Iron Man and its sequel, and Cowboys & Aliens. [Variety]
• Key and Peele favorite Keegan Michael Key might be joining Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Damon Wayans, Jr. (Happy Endings) in the comedy Let’s Be Cops. Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door), will direct the film, which he also wrote, about two guys who decide it’ll be fun to impersonate police officers. [The Wrap]
• Would you want to relive the worst day of your life? Well, for some reason the lead character in Unmasked does, and he joins a dangerous club in order to do so. That part has yet to be cast, but Christina Ricci (Speed Racer) is in talks to join the independent feature from first time writer Peter Scott Vicaire. It will be directed by Geoffrey Sax (White Noise). Ricci can be heard in the upcoming Smurfs 2 (out July 31) where she voices the part of Vexy. [THR]
One of the tricky bargains that actors have to make when they choose to play a living person in a film, is that they’ll be forever inextricably linked to that figure. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film The Iron Lady, and on news of her passing issued a heartfelt statement expressing her complicated admiration for the former Prime Minister.
Streep did not shy away from the fact that Thatcher was a divisive figure, noting her controversial policies. But the legendary actress also was unafraid to praise Thatcher’s “grit” and her important place in history. Streep wrote: “To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”
Read the statement in full below.
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