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HBO: Big Little Lies

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What I really love about this season is that it's doing what soaps never do anymore -- paying off the storylines from season 1, and doing it in a very satisfying way.

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This doesn't surprise me. I never believed HBO was ready to allow a director as unconventional as Andrea Arnold (who's brilliant - see Red Road, with Kate Dickie, among other things) tackle this. Vallée is also brilliant, but he and Arnold are different.

Edited by Vee

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On 7/1/2019 at 8:50 PM, Faulkner said:

Very interesting.

 

 

 

Pauline Kael could be very wrong, but most of her criticisms of Streep were apt, especially this one (from Postcards on the Edge):

 

 “Meryl Streep just about always seems miscast. (She makes a career out of seeming to overcome being miscast).”

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52 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

Pauline Kael could be very wrong, but most of her criticisms of Streep were apt, especially this one (from Postcards on the Edge):

 

 “Meryl Streep just about always seems miscast. (She makes a career out of seeming to overcome being miscast).”

 

I'm not a huge Meryl fan, but I don't understand this quote.

 

I do like this quote though:

 

There's no denying her authority, yet even legends need to return to interpersonal basics. Perhaps by the time Streep no longer has to cake on the makeup to play a senior, she'll be given a role that will allow her to intimately inhabit the private human drama she has long been second to none at illustrating.

Edited by StepBack

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6 hours ago, StepBack said:

 

I'm not a huge Meryl fan, but I don't understand this quote.

 

A lot of the focus and praise for Meryl, especially in that era, tended to be about how hard she worked to get this right and that right. It was presented as some kind of grand struggle. 

 

Even her partner in the '70s called her a "delicious robot," although he may have been misquoted, who knows. 

 

She's loosened up quite a bit over time - I actually think Kael would enjoy her work now, sloppy as it sometimes is.  

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I think that quote is right -- once she hit her 50s and 60s, Steeep came into her own more. Some people are old souls, and I think Streep is one of them, projecting a certain control, poise and affectation in her 20s and 30s that you might associate with people of a more mature generation. I remember seeing her play the mother in The Manchurian Candidate, and her scene with the political power-brokers was electrifying, to the point were (a) it woke up a so-so remake, and (b) I finally understood some of the hype about her. Yes, her affectations are there for all to see, but they work in the context of the character. 

 

 

(Since I am making recommendations lol, she was also good in one of her first movies, The Deer Hunter).

Edited by Cat

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It's funny you should mention that bc I rewatched that the other day and thought about just this topic. I think Meryl's work in the (flawed, but decent) Manchurian Candidate remake  - especially the scene above - was one of her last sharp performances before she descended into playing campy, somewhat anesthetized images of herself for almost a decade. Playing "Meryl Streep being Meryl Streep" by way of dreamy, snarky Miranda from Devil Wears Prada because an industry unto itself. In MC she is on point and on fire - I think the inspiration there was George W. Bush cohort Karen Hughes, among others.

 

I don't think she came back from that til The Post, where she was unafraid to be 1) vulnerable again and 2) weak or frustrating for a portion of the film, as opposed to the cliche Meryl Streep post-2000s image of the dragon lady/dry wit madam. She did a great job in that film, and too few saw it.

 

I hear she's good on BLL but I have yet to watch the show.

Edited by Vee

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For me, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close share the same deficiency as actresses: they never disappear enough into their characters so that we don't know or can't tell that they're acting.  It's like watching the puppeteer as well as the puppet.

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