Don’t Look Up (2021)

A sadly accurate depiction of the times. The brilliant writing makes it appear like satire, an SNL sketch of sorts, but it is REAL. It is what we have endured and continue to endure with the polarisation and ignorance of society.

There are references aplenty and they make for a shudder down your spine, nervous laugh, head shaking variety. A commentary on the current and future trends and what we as a society tend to focus on needs a lot of attention, which is what the cast is attempting to highlight. Either by their action or wilful delusion.

We have had multiple wake up calls and are in the midst of one currently. But the truth is often harder to digest and address than the ‘alternative facts’. The ensemble cast is superlative in presenting us these perspectives which beg for logic and alarm.

Thoroughly disturbing, eye opening and humbling.

4/5

Little Women (2020)

It is so difficult to do justice to a classic and director Greta Gerwig has done just that.

Connecting your emotions to the story and the characters from the first frame, we see a pure and simple bond between the siblings and everything that affects them.

Many highs and lows later the performances remain consistently strong and deep, where we are seen rooting for all of them.

A heart-warming start to the year and a fitting choice for every accolade.

4/5

Big Little Lies – Season Two (2019)

The stellar team of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, is back with the addition of the enigmatic Meryl Streep, who plays a delicate character, who is annoying, intrusive yet caring and concerned. It’s a difficult part to play but who better than her to brave it.

The principal cast is persistent on hiding what really happened at the end of Season 1, which plays out as different stresses for their characters. New truths are revealed as they navigate through their complex lives in their sleepy small town.

Excellent performances which culminate in an intense final episode.

Mary Poppins Returns (2019)

Mary Poppins Returns: a feel good film after a long time, a wholesome experience for all ages. Emily Blunt is charming as the lead, ably supported by the entire cast. The surprise was an appearance by Meryl Streep, who never fails to enthrall. Wonderful songs and visuals make it the perfect choice to start the year!

3.5/5

Mamma Mia – Here we go again (2018)

Director Ol Parker had a tough task, writing and directing the prequel/sequel of the famous Mamma Mia which released 10 years ago. He does a great job, giving us glimpses in to Donna’s past and Sophie’s present.

Lily James had a tough act to follow, but she did a great job as Donna, the younger Meryl Streep. She embodied her body language, but more importantly her smile and spontaneous soul.

The ensemble cast sings and dances, with the sunshine spilling out of the screen, the tunes making you dance in your seats. What a wonderful warm feeling!

The film slowly builds to an emotional climax, a brilliant fitting tribute to Donna’s energy and exuberance. We have many treats, and vocal stylings to enjoy, and a fit grandma in Cher!

The melodies never cease to move and charm you and it just re-iterates, Old is Gold! ABBA nostalgia still rules hearts!

3.5/5

The Post (2017)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, this matter of fact film couldn’t have been released at a better time. Its making and release was perhaps orchestrated to highlight what the American nation is currently going through.

Art has always been used to say a truth that may have been drowned or obliterated by history or power. What Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep give is one of their ordinary performances, doing an extraordinary service to the American people.

Sorry to side track in a review, but remember ‘WMDs’? Weapons of mass destruction which didn’t exist, leading to the invasion and ruination of so many countries. Were the leaders who did that held accountable? No.

This film speaks of a time when leaders were served justice, and history should and will repeat itself.

3/5

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Is there anything that Meryl Streep cannot do? Sheer genius talent is screaming in every off note of hers as an amateur soprano.

Stephen Frears has directed The Queen and Philomena amongst other films, this one needed a vision with very good writing to make it work. And work it did, at the perfect length with brilliant actors.

Hugh Grant plays a devoted husband to Meryl who supports her dream of singing and exhibiting her talent (or lack thereof). The surprise package is Simon Helberg (Wolowitz from Big Bang Theory), who is trained at concert pianist level in real life and gets to share his talent in a role that suits him perfectly.

Meryl Streep is on her 30th Golden Globe nomination with this film and I won’t be surprised if she gets her 20th Oscar nomination for it as well. A good singer herself, she sings in flat, shrill tones, exactly like the Florence, embodying a character who seeks validation via her continuous training and hope to perform. A socialite based in New York she dresses flamboyantly, and can afford her delusions as a heiress.

A warm story which is surprisingly funny with oodles of talent, it’s another Meryl Moment.

3/5

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

Jonathan Demme, director of acclaimed films such as ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Philadelphia’ brings us a lighter family drama with a musical base.

Needless to say Meryl Streep embodies the character of Ricki like she does any of her other characters. She adds her own touch of course, with little quirks and pronounced movements.

Her daughter, Mamie Gummer, who has acted with her before, is given the spot light, as her on screen offspring. It’s difficult to shine in the presence of Meryl, but she leaves an impact.

Kevin Kline and the cast that make up the rest of her family and her musical crew, support the story well.

The plot is centred around family drama, the will to follow your passion and express your individual self. For that and for Meryl, watch it.

2.5/5

In to the woods (2014)

Rob Marshall presents us a musical fantasy film of four fairy tales, where an ensemble cast led by Meryl Streep represent the stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Little Red Riding Hood. Based on a Broadway musical it gave us a toned down Disney version for a family audience.

It is complicated to do justice to four stories, which has been done. It isn’t easy to weave them into one either, that too has been achieved. What is perhaps most difficult, is to give the stories ‘fairy tale endings’ and then introduce a whole new set of complications.

That tight rope is perhaps the strength of the film, which shows us how the protagonists we have known since we were children don’t necessarily accept their happy fate. They question it, and the actions of others involved in it.

The woods are but a metaphor for our darker side, or the dilemma of our conscience. The cast has sung the songs and there was no surprise for Meryl’s 19th Academy Award nomination with her performance. Walking the thin line between insane and vengeful her dramatics leave you wanting more.

A fearless tale with good music and visuals.

3/5