Happy Birthday Meryl Streep! Celebrate with these iconic movies
Few actors can claim as many accomplishments as Meryl Streep. Streep, who turns seventy-two today, has been one of America’s most beloved & respected performers for decades. Her name is synonymous with the craft of acting. She has won an Academy Award for acting in three different decades, and she has been nominated over twenty times.
Streep began her career on the stage in New York City. She began auditioning for roles in films but was disillusioned by the process. She had a small role opposite Jane Fonda in the 1977 film Julia, but most of her lines were cut or edited to be used in different scenes. Streep said she hated the experience though she appreciated working with Fonda.
To celebrate Streep’s big day, let’s look back on some of her biggest & best roles. While this list isn’t exhaustive, here are some movies with Meryl Streep we want to share today.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
While performing in a production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Meryl Streep met John Cazale. The two began a relationship that lasted until Cazale’s untimely death due to lung cancer in 1978. Robert De Niro suggested Streep for a role in The Deer Hunter after seeing her in a performance of The Cherry Orchard. Cazale was also cast in the film.
This movie sees Meryl Streep playing a supporting role as the girlfriend of Robert De Niro’s character Mike Vronsky. It is not a big role for Streep, but she shines in the few scenes in which she appears. Legendary film critic Pauline Kael said that Streep brought a freshness to the film with her presence.
Still of the Night (1982)
1982’s Still of the Night saw Streep reunite with Robert Benton, whom she worked with on Kramer vs. Kramer. Though this movie with Meryl Streep isn’t perfect, it still has a lot going for it. It is a Hitchcockian thriller starring Roy Schieder as a therapist who falls in love with a woman who may have murdered one of his clients.
Meryl Streep is fantastic as a mysterious femme fatale. The movie also features some lovely locations in New York including scenes in Central Park and at a beautiful mansion in Glen Cove on Long Island.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Death Becomes Her is possibly one of Meryl Streep’s most bonkers movies. Streep and Goldie Hawn play rivals who vie for the affection of Dr. Ernest Menville, played by Bruce Willis. Isabella Rosellini complicates matters as she gives the women a potion of eternal youth. Streep & Hawn’s plots for revenge go up in smoke when they find out neither can die. However, they become walking corpses as a result of their injuries.
Though this movie wasn’t well-received by critics, it was a box office success. Death Becomes Her maintains a devoted cult following to this day. Fans appreciate the bizarre visual sense of humor, over-the-top fashion, and queer-coded rivalry between Streep & Hawn.
Maybe one of Streep’s most unforgettable movies comes in Spike Jonze’s Adaptation. The film stars Nicholas Cage as a fictionalized version of Adaptation’s screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who is given the task of adapting Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief while suffering from writer’s block.
Streep plays a version of the author Susan Orlean seen through the daydreams & manic imagination of Cage’s Kaufman. Meryl Streep’s Orlean begins the film as a straitlaced literary figure who transforms, in Kaufman’s mind at least, into a drug addict willing to commit murder. Streep delivers a monologue that steals the entire film away from Cage, who delivers a great performance.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Few films bring as much unbridled joy as Mamma Mia! This campy adaptation of the ABBA jukebox music was a smash hit. It was one of the highest-grossing live-action musicals of all time. Streep, who was given opera singing lessons as a child, does a great job with the toe-tapping material.
BBC Radio film critic Mark Kermode enjoyed the film saying it was “the closest you get to see A-list actors doing karaoke”. It may not be the most brilliant or important film of all time but it is some good clean fun.
Meryl Streep is one of the greatest living actors. Are you planning to celebrate by watching one of her movies today? Which one? Let us know in the comments below!