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Hark! Is That Someone Talking Smack About Meryl Streep I Hear?

Some things are just never as good as they used to be. “Saturday Day Night” casts. Woody Allen movies. And apparently, Meryl Streep.

http://photo.newsweek.com/oscar-roundtable/2010/young-film-audiences-dont-get-meryl-streep.html

Streep has been nominated for her 16th Oscar.

“Streep’s not nearly so golden”, added

“What Streep most crucially lacks is the notion of underplaying. The outsized quality of Julia Child speaks exactly to Streep’s weaknesses among moviegoers not predisposed to like her. She plays every role to the absolute hilt, even when she hasn’t, it seems, decided what role she’s playing.”

Oooh, bitchy! But it gets worse.

a recent “Saturday Night Live” parody of “It’s Complicated,” in which Streep is portrayed as ditzy, giggling and tittering

Meryl Streep is not a sacred cowThat criticism might be fair enough, but then the criticism gets petty:

“There’s no denying Streep’s talents, but she and her directors, enthralled by the Streep legend, so indulge every opportunity to make a moment bigger that nothing she does can possibly be small or real. Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams (twice!), the entirely forgettable cast of Mamma Mia—no one can get a memorable word in. When Meryl (as her devotees invariably call her) is on the screen, you don’t notice anyone else.

Really? No one can get a word in alongside Streep? I’d bet money on it that these young actresses consider themselves lucky for having been in a film with Streep. “The Devil Wears Prada” made Hathaway’s career (for everyone above “Princess Diaries” age). “Mamma Mia!” made Amanda Seyfried’s career. While it was “Enchanted” that made Adams’ career, appearing alongside Streep (in “Doubt” and “Julie & Julia”) didn’t hurt.

“Can you imagine Meryl Streep as the cranky scientist Sigourney Weaver plays in “Avatar”? She’d divide her time between manically giggling and hysterically crying, with no room for the kind of quiet that informs any movie worth watching.

What’s funny is that I’ve actually had these criticisms myself, but for a different actress: Diane Keaton. Keaton, like Streep, has been around forever and can be found in many major films of the second half of the 20th century.

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