Saturday, 17 January 2009
HOT: Meryl Streep: A Life in Pictures, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts regularly hosts events which celebrate the life and work of people in the film industry, from Cate Blanchett to Anthony Minghella. This time it was the turn of possibly the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep. She was a funny, intelligent and confident - certainly not self-deprecating and carefully dodged more difficult questions. Reading down her list of works it's clear that she's deliberately chosen to work in a wide range of genres in order to avoid being stereotyped - but the consistent thread through all her choices is her desire to undermine your assumptions or expectations about her character. This is what gives the depth and humanity in her roles. The selected clips from her filmography also impressed me with her mastery of accents (for which she's justly famous) - apparently to convince Alan J. Pakula that she was right for Sophie's Choice she read the director some poetry in Sophie's Polish voice, and to get Karen Blixen's accent she listened to tapes of Jeremy Irons' Danish nanny.