"There is nothing new under the sun." So says Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius, the crusading, potentially misguided nun who accuses a priest of child abuse in the play-to-film transfer, Doubt. Sister's statement certainly didn't apply to Streep in 2008, however. She had the biggest box-office hit of her career to date with the musical Mamma Mia!, and Doubt has once again made Streep an awards contender.
A fellow California critic labeled Doubt "Streep porn," guaranteed to get her fans off. Of course, Streep has been getting her GLBT fans off (so to speak) for years through a host of memorable performances with nods to our community: Angels in America (in which Emma Thompson's angel got Streep's conservative Mormon housewife off), Silkwood, She-Devil, The Hours and The Devil Wears Prada. The girl and gay-powered success of Mamma Mia!, in which Streep sang and danced with energy and aplomb, has reportedly cemented her stardom worldwide. Did I mention she is 60-years old?
Of course, we've considered Streep a star long before now. In addition to being our finest living actress, she has also proven to be a friend of the GLBT community, speaking out for us on the Golden Globes and in interviews with her unique brand of down-to-earth wisdom and self-effacing humor.
Here's to you, Meryl; may you continue finding new ways to enjoy your craft, always impressing us, your loyal fans, in the process.
By Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.