Monday, November 24, 2008

Meryl a negative?

Variety (magazine) is known for its reviews. It always predicts the Oscar contenders, and does a damn fine job at critically analyzing a film perfectly. As I showed in an earlier blog there has been some doubt on the film version of Doubt starring Meryl Streep. An early review from a less reputable source said the worst part of the near perfect film was Meryl Streep. Well now add Variety to the list of critics saying that Meryl is actually a negative force stifiling the film for succeeding. Here's some snippits:

they LOVE viola davis:
"The drama reaches its high point when Sister Aloysius calls in Donald’s mother (a superb Viola Davis) to inform her of what she believes is going on between her son and his would-be protector. The scene, which begins in the principal’s office but on film now continues on a walk through a dreary housing complex on a chilly day, is superbly written; the representative of religious absolutism sticks to her certainty in the face of a deeply moving confession of true-life emotional realities about the boy’s domestic situation. Viola Davis provides the most powerful performance in the film, albeit the smallest."

they LOVE Phillip Seymore Hoffman:
"Hoffman’s performance is ambiguous enough to make the viewer continue to wonder about Father Flynn and, crucially, to fear Sister Aloysius might actually be right. Thesp is particularly effective in his sermons, delivering his thoughtful remarks with a clarity and intellectual pertinence that many pastors might envy. Hoffman, always a strong actor, turns in one of his strongest performances here."

they LIKE Amy Adams:
"Amy Adams does all anyone could with the role of a nice young nun who must cope with the monster she unintentionally lets out of the box. Adams is growing into a film darling. She is always a treat no matter the film, or in this case, the role."

they DON'T LIKE Meryl:
"The film’s one iffy element, oddly enough, is Streep. This master screen actor, who applies a slight New Yawk accent to her phrasings, takes the vocal low road here as opposed to the more forceful approach of Cherry Jones in her riveting Broadway turn. By ostensibly underplaying the role’s villainy, however, Streep overdoes the melodrama, thereby turning Sister Aloysius into more of a stock figure than she ultimately seemed onstage. Every little tic, gesture and facial mannerism seems maximized by the effort expended to minimalize them, to diminished returns in the cause of creating a three-dimensional character. While the dramatic scenes still register with notable force, it’s a disconcerting, unsatisfying performance from a thesp who most of the time rings true. Sadly Streep is highly disappointing throughout."

Woah! I've never heard Meryl get such solid bad reviews for a performance. I will still wait to judge for myself when its released for me to see.

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