The Good Life

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Star to Watch


By R. Kurt Osenlund, film critic and correspondent

It feels both silly and gratifying to write the name Meryl Streep right under the words, "star to watch." Silly because everyone has been watching the world's greatest living actress for decades now. Gratifying because, at 59, the alabaster-skinned chameleon has had one of the biggest years of her career.

This past summer, Streep dusted off her husky, underused pipes for the big screen version of the ABBA musical, "Mamma Mia!," a bona fide blockbuster that went on to be one of the highest grossing films of 2008 (and the highest ever for a film directed by a woman -- Phyllida Lloyd). Admittedly, the movie was a mess, but Streep, as always, was fabulous. She scored a Best Actress (Comedy) Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the film.

She also landed a Globe nod for Best Actress (Drama) for her work in "Doubt," playwright/filmmaker John Patrick Shanley's brilliant adaptation of his own Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway hit. Streep plays Sister Aloysius Beavier, a conservative Catholic school principal who accuses a priest of misconduct. Streep's work in the film is, in a word, electrifying. She proves once again why, in this writer's opinion, she's the finest actor in the business -- male or female, and she'll receive her 15th (!!!) Oscar nomination for it, for sure.
Just another reason to keep watching this star, who only gets better with age.


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