Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 18, 2009


Jonathan Romney, Wall Street Journal - Call it the "Streep Effect". For years, Meryl Streep was taken for granted as one of Hollywood's most respected actors, someone who didn't always have hits, but who had fewer duds in her filmography than any star of her generation. Today, however, Streep is experiencing a career renaissance that is making her not merely one of Hollywood's favourite names, but one with a Midas touch. Her latest film, Julie & Julia, in which she plays the kitchen guru Julia Child, has already taken more than $28.5m since its US release two weeks ago, and has sent Child's 1961 book Mastering the Art of French Cooking back to the top of bestseller lists, as well as triggering a boom in interest in French cuisine classes in the US. . .

In terms of star power, all this is a return to Streep's glory days of the Eighties. After she appeared opposite Robert Redford in the 1985 hit Out of Africa, the number of overseas visitors to Kenya boomed from 152,000 in 1985 to 176,000 in 1986. . .

Mamma Mia!, 2008: The Twickenham-based Ionian Weddings travel agency has seen a surge in requests by couples wanting to re-create the idyllic ceremony organised by Streep in the film. Her renditions of Abba tunes also propelled the Swedish pop group's greatest hits to number one in the UK album chart, for the fifth time.

The Hours, 2002: Woolf's Mrs Dalloway was never a huge commercial success, but six weeks after the film's release it was number one on Amazon's sales list – the first time the 78-year-old book had been a bestseller.

Out of Africa, 1985: The doomed nature of the love affair between Streep's Danish Baroness and Redford's big-game hunter didn't dissuade tourists from heading to Africa in droves, with the Kenyan Tourist Board describing the film as "one of the best possible advertisements for Kenya".


Anonymous Lisa Stone said...

I like both actresses, Amy Adams is very likable and Meryl Streep is so talented. I am looking forward to seeing the movie.

August 18, 2009 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a hugh Meryl Streep fan and so is my 13 year old daughter. She fell in love with her in Mamma Mia! and has sinced seen Doubt and Julie and Julia.

we won't miss a Meryl Streep movie for the world.

August 19, 2009 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, after the initial release of "Out of Africa", the president of Kenya complained about the paternalism, although benign, dramatized by the film and declared that he thought that there might be more control exerted upon movies that were produced there.
Tony Vodvarka

August 26, 2009 2:11 PM  

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