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WILL IT BE A MORE-THE-MERRIER NIGHT FOR MERYL AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES?

Meryl Steep, scarcely a novice at the awards game, seems a cinch for two 2008 Golden Globe nominations--a "Best Actress in a Drama" nom for her performance as the chilly nun in "Doubt" and a "Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical" nod for her turn as an all singing, all dancing single mother in "Mama Mia!" We're betting Meryl will make two trips to the Beverly Hilton stage on the evening of January 11, 2009. For details on her current and upcoming films, browse below.

 

MAMMA MIA!: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Hemi Yeroham (Directed by Phyllida Lloyd; Written by Catherine Johnson; Universal)

We’re all aware that Meryl Streep can do anything--in any medium and with whatever accent is required. So we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear that she will sing out, loud and clear, in the movie version of the smash ABBA-loaded musical “Mamma Mia!”. If you’ve seen the show, you know the mama she’ll be playing is the proud mother of a bride-to-be. You also know that she’s never revealed the identity of the man to whom she owes her motherhood and that her daughter, determined to come face to face with dad, has invited the three most likely sires to her wedding on a Greek isle. (Could daddy be the cool architect played by Pierce Brosnan?) The big question is, can Meryl put over a song? If you had the pleasure of hearing her warble in “Postcards From the Edge” or “A Prairie Home Companion,” you know the answer is an emphatic yes. And now that she's gotten “Mama Mia” out of the way, let’s hope she moves on to “Gypsy,” “Wonderful Town,” “Mame,” "Applause" and “Pal Joey.” Now Playing

 

DOUBT: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Lloyd Clay Brown, Joseph Foster (Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley; Miramax Films)

We’ve come a long way since Father Bing Crosby and Sister Ingrid Bergman radiated respect and sexless affection for one another in “The Bells of St. Mary’s.” In “Doubt,” Meryl Streep plays Sister Aloysius, a probing, dictatorial nun who strikes a shattering blow to affable Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), her popular colleague at a parochial grade school in the Bronx, circa 1964. If you’ve seen John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, you know that the oppressively vigilant Sister Aloysius, troubled by what she considers Father Flynn’s dangerously close relationship with a black male student, accuses him of sexual molestation. Before long, life becomes holy hell for Father and Sister alike. By the way, Crosby and Bergman both received Oscar nominations for their performances in "The Bells of St. Mary's." Can you possibly doubt that "Doubt" will provide a similar springboard for Streep and Hoffman? Opens 12/12/08

 

JULIE & JULIA: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci (Written and directed by Nora Ephron; Columbia)

A world-famous chef, who was also the star of her own popular live-TV show, once blithely flipped a potato pancake into the air, only to see it land not in the intended pan but on a decidedly un-photogenic work table. Not a bit flustered, she simply scooped up the smashed potato and molded it back into shape. Then, looking firmly into the eye of the camera, she told her audience, “Remember, you are alone in the kitchen, and no one can see you.” This unflappable flipper, of course, was Julia Child, the lovably eccentric American who somehow managed to become an idolized French chef. And playing Child in this movie is Meryl Streep, who, as you know, can glide from American to French or any other nationality on a minute’s notice. The question is, what sort of scenario has writer-director Nora Ephron concocted that will give Streep a chance to don her apron and flip her potato pancake, as well as engage in some out-of-the-kitchen antics? After all, this film is supposedly an adaptation of “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” Julia Powell’s 2005 book dishing out the comedy-drama of her decision to cook, over the course of one year, every single recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and to serve the presumably tasty results to her husband and other guinea pigs. Her experiment took a toll in both the digestive and domestic realms. Amy Adams ("Catch Me If You Can," "Junebug," "Charlie Wilson's War") plays the central role of Julie. But you can bet that Ephron will cook up something tres delicious for Streep, who played the author to perfection in "Heartburn," based on Ephron's account of her disastrous marriage to philandering journalist Carl Bernstein. Child's own husband, Paul, a foreign diplomat suspected of being a commie by Senator Joseph McCarthy, will be played by Stanley Tucci. Opening date to be announced

DIRTY TRICKS: Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Jill Clayburgh, Sharon Stone, Jim Broadbent (Written and directed by Ryan Murphy; Paramount)

They called her Martha the Mouth, Mouth of the South or simply Moutha. Her real name was Martha Mitchell, and she was the full-throttle wife of John Mitchell, Attorney General to President Richard M. Nixon. Never one to hold back, Martha, who died in 1976, had this to say about her hubby’s boss: “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” Nor did Martha go all that easy on Mitchell himself, referring to him at one point as “that gutless, despicable crook.” Is it any wonder that in an effort to shut her up, her enemies eventually drugged her and held her captive in a California hotel room? Ryan Murphy, director of “Running With Scissors,” is helming this adaptation of John Jeter’s play about the woman who spilled the beans that hastened Tricky Dick's departure from the White House. And, best news of all, Murphy had the good sense to cast Meryl Streep as the biggest Moutha ever. Also on prominent display: Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who received many a late-night phone call from the whistle-blowing Martha. Opening date to be announced

FIRST MAN: Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep (Written and directed by Diane English; Disney)

If a guy’s got tons of self esteem and doesn’t give a hoot if people ridicule him for giving up his dream of becoming the next Ted Turner in order to give his wife a career boost, that’s a thing of beauty. Especially if his wife has her heart set on the White House. Coming from Diane English, who created “Murphy Brown,” this could turn out to be a cutting-edge romantic comedy. On the other hand, didn’t Fred MacMurray and Polly Bergen already cover this ground in 1964’s “Kisses for My President”? Opening date to be announced

CHAOS: Meryl Streep, Aishwarya Rai, Michael David White (Directed by Coline Serreau)

Brutally assaulted by a trio of street punks, a blood-splattered prostitute pleads with a middle-aged couple to take her into their car. The driver shuts his window and drives on to a dinner party. The next day, the driver’s guilt-ridden wife tracks down the victim and before long they are close--and exceptionally scheming--friends. French film director Coline Serreau is directing this English-language remake of her story of vengeance, violence and bizarre bonding. Streep plays the older woman, and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai plays the hooker who changes her life, not entirely for the better. Opening date to be announced


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