Long before Donald Trump's notorious tweet and Streep's unnecessary acceptance speech at the Golden Globes ceremony, I've always said that I thought the multi-Oscar nominated actress was overrated. Now do I not only think that she's overrated, but she's also an idiot. But that's my opinion and I'm sure that I'll make some of you cringe with that statement.
My sister and I have gotten into arguments every time I've said this over the years as she is a firm Streep adulator. Others have also found it a bit disturbing when I express this opinion of mine so I try to stay mum on the topic most of the time, but if her name comes up in a conversation I can't help but blurt out something like, "I can't stand Meryl Streep--I think she's a bore."
Thinking that I might be wrong after hearing the floods of Streep accolades after her recent controversies and yet another Oscar nomination (oh no, not another stupid award nomination for Streep!), I decided that I should check her filmography to see if maybe I'd made an unfair assessment of Meryl Streep.
Checking the IMDb site I discovered that Meryl Streep has been a part of nearly 70 films and of those films there are 12 that I've definitely seen and maybe a few more that I might have seen and have forgotten that I've seen them. Only one of these was a movie that I purposely saw because she was in it and that was A Cry in the Dark (1988) which I watched this past week-end mostly because it sounded interesting. It was good, but not necessarily because of her performance.
I liked the The River Wild (1994) because it was a good story, but I actually didn't recall Streep being in it. I guess she did a fine job, but there are a lot of actresses who would have been good in this film. This is the case with many of the films I've seen Streep in--any actress would have been fine in the role that she played and some might have been better. Some of those films being Defending Your Life (1991) (she must have had a cameo in this one), Music of the Heart (1999) (I think I saw this, but it didn't make any impression I guess), Out of Africa (1985) (I don't remember this other than it being rather a bore as I recall--probably a suitable film for her style), and Holocaust (1978) (actually a TV mini-series that is one of my wife's favorite "films" that I bought her on DVD and I liked for the story--don't recall Streep's role that much).
Then there was the 1979 Woody Allen film Manhattan and that great film The Deer Hunter (1978), both which garnered early Oscar nominations for Streep. However, if you had asked me before I had looked it up if Streep had been in either film, I would have said that I didn't think so. In other words, the roles she played in those films made no impression on me.
Streep also starred in two films that I absolutely hated. The first is The Bridges of Madison County (1995). I hated the movie and equally hated the book and didn't care for Streep's role in the movie that I hated. This one is a big source of contention between my sister and I and will always result in an argument when the topic comes up so we usually don't discuss it. Most women seem to love this dumb movie, but to me it's a rotten enough movie to make a case for disliking Meryl Streep period.
Another "hate it" role I'll add is the one from the remake of The Manchurian Candidate (2004). For one thing the role Streep played reminded me too much of Hilary Clinton of whom I'm no fan either. The only consolation about that role is that Streep's character gets killed--oops! Sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven't seen it, don't. See the original from 1962. In my opinion the remake is typical modern Hollywood liberal garbage. Hated the film. Hated Streep's role.
So, I guess the argument I'm making is that I don't like Meryl Streep's acting and I don't particularly like the way she looks. There is something about her that creeps me out. And now she's added her political opinions to the mix and that's all the more reason for me to dislike her.
For those who think I'm being superficially judgmental about looks and beliefs and that those things shouldn't affect my opinion of acting ability I'll offer another case--Sean Penn. Can't stand the way he looks and hate his politics. But every role that I've seen him in has been great in my opinion. I can watch one of his films and forget his looks and his politics and walk away thinking he did a great job. Too bad he's such a jerk.
Of course, many will disagree with my assessment. But then, many would likely ridicule some of my favorite actors like Nicholas Cage or Jean-Claude Van Damme--hey, my wife and I both like those guys and have enjoyed every film we've seen them in. And we've seen a lot of their films. We also think Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Leonardo di Caprio, and Christian Bale are far better than Streep.
Funny, but I tend to find actors more memorable than actresses. There are plenty of actresses I like, but none that stand out as much as actors. Of great actresses from the past you can give me Giulietta Masina over Streep any day. I think the roles played by either Charlize Theron or Christina Ricci in Monster blow away anything Meryl Streep has ever done. But that's just me speaking here. Maybe you agree or maybe not.
If you're a Streep fan and I've offended you then I apologize. After all, I'm just expressing my personal opinion. And if you're Streep and you're offended then I don't really care. You shouldn't be spouting politics on a stupid awards show. If you really feel the need to shoot off about your political beliefs then start a blog or something. The ABC Network daytime show The View would probably even give you a seat right there with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar. If you were on that show I'd have yet another reason not to watch it.
On the other hand, Meryl Streep, send me some of your money and I'll delete this post and replace it with one telling how much I think you're the greatest ever and write glowing reviews of all your films. I might even watch Mamma Mia! and give it a great review. For that you'll need to send a lot of money.
Have I been overly harsh in my assessment of Meryl Streep? Is there any particular actress or actor that you think is overrated? Do you think actors and other entertainers should be expressing their political opinions and causes on public forums like award shows and concert appearances?
Join me next Wednesday March 15th for the Battle of the Bands. If you love music then why don't you join us with your own Battle post. Let me know if you'd like to join in and we can add you to the participant list.