Tonight, I watched Meryl Streep give a magnificent performance as Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Truly, it's one of Streep's best -- and I'm a longtime fan (I first interviewed La Streep when she was promoting Sophie's Choice.) She humanizes Thatcher. We see her being ambitious and steely on the political scene. We see her elderly and weakening in the winter of her years. There's a classic Streep scene in which she, as Thatcher, conducts a cabinet meeting like a strict, irritated teacher with a class of disappointing and unprepared schoolboys. She is fierce and funny.
based on the Broadway Abba-fest.
I blogged this week that Viola Davis made Oscar nomination history with her Best Actress nod for The Help. Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg are now the two only Black women with more than one Oscar nomination for acting to their credit. Each earned a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress categories. I don't recall reading or hearing a report of the history Meryl Streep made with Phyllida Lloyd. Lloyd directed Streep to her 17th Academy Award nomination. Also, she is the second woman director to guide Streep to a Best Actress Oscar nomination. THAT is a record. I believe that Meryl Streep is now the only woman with more than one Oscar nomination for a film performance directed by another woman. Streep's first came for her loopy, illuminating, surprising turn as chef Julia Child in Julie & Julia directed by Nora Ephron.
did huge business here and overseas. With that, plus a bio pic that brought the top film actress of our generation another invite to Oscar night, I sure hope Phyllida Lloyd is getting some Hollywood respect.
The first woman to direct a woman to a Best Actress Academy Award nomination was Dorothy Arzner. Arzner directed Ruth Chatterton in the 1930 drama of a single working show biz mother trying to reclaim her child in Sarah and Son. It was a box office hit from Paramount. For years, Arzner was the only female in the old Hollywood studio boys' club of film directors.
(The Piano, Holly Hunter), Patty Jenkins (Monster, Charlize Theron), Sarah Polley (Away From Her, Julie Christie) and Debra Granik (Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence). Phyllida Lloyd joins quite an esteemed list. To me, that's history worth reporting. Brava to the director and to the star of The Iron Lady.