There’s Oscar bait-y, and then there’s Oscar bait-y, and then there’s Meryl Streep chewing scenery so hard she might get lockjaw.
I’m not new, I know how this goes. I watched every single minute of Silver Linings Playbook, even though I was one of the few, the proud, the possibly idiotic who wasn’t as enraptured as everyone else seemed to be.
This is a movie with a bunch of famous folk that have Deep Troubled Pasts (helps that they’re southern) and how family togetherness (or not) brings them together or possibly tears them apart. It’s a play. It’s a mood. It’s a made for television drama starring Laura San Giacomo, or it would be, if this were 1989. Movies like this are easy to define, because there are often so many of them.
The reviews coming in for this film after its showing at TIFF haven’t exactly been the most complimentary or even, yet there’s something about A: OC that I am inexplicably drawn to.
Streep seems to be portraying an amalgam of classic Elizabeth Taylor characters; Maggie, aged up to 50, alcoholic and miserable, and Virginia from Who’s Afraid, but with children to berate instead of Richard Burton.
Many of the critiques I’ve read say Steep’s acting is too out of character, too dark, too cartoony, and from this brief trailer and the others I’ve seen, it’s not an assessment I can disagree with. However – and this is a big one – she’s Meryl effing Streep. I’m fairly positive that she could do Othello as a monologue, backwards, naked and covered in honey and it would be the most brilliant rendering of Othello the mass populace had ever been witness to.
…somebody start a Kickstarter for that. It would make millions.
The rest of the cast meld together, recognizable faces from past and present brushes with fame, and though she’s gotten almost caricatured in recent years, Julia Roberts seems to be the shining star, the beacon. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
Also, let’s be real: whoever thought to pair her together with Ewan McGregor was a freaking genius.
Watch the trailer, digest it, watch it again, maybe, and then come back and talk to me about what you thought! Are you going to try and track it down when it finally makes it to theaters? Is the lure of Benedict Cumberbatch too strong to keep you away? Let me know.