SPOTLIGHT: Meryl Streep

Fresh off her decades-in-the-making third Academy Award victory, now seems the perfect time to take a look back at her unprecedented acting career.  Widely considered one of the finest screen actresses living or dead, her gift with accents is almost as iconic as her darting eye movements.  Streep is one of those performers who are imminently watcheable even if the movies are terrible (The Iron Lady, Mamma Mia!).  And yes, while she’s shone brightly in her fair share of duds, she does the same in movies that are actually good, too.  Whether she’s playing a notable historical figure like Thatcher or Julia Child or a dry-witted monster like Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, you never stop seeing her.  Each performance is a unique creation all its own, but you can still see her underneath it.

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Directed by: John Patrick Shanley
Written by: John Patrick Shanley (screenplay & play)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis

Power resonates through every frame of this film.  The themes, the characters, and the film making are all powerful gusts of wind sent forth from the mind of John Patrick Shanley to shake you to your core.  However, it is not without one of the finest ensembles of the past several years that he achieves this.

What’s so great about this movie is that it speaks to something in everyone.  Looking at Doubt as an allegory for our times, when unsubstantiated certainty lands us in an unwinnable war in the Middle East, you see something totally different than if you look at it as a critique on Catholicism’s unwillingness to change.  You have to respect the material’s power to mean so much to so many different perspectives.

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