PERFORMING ARTS

Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

Hachette. Sept. 2019. 320p. illus. by Justin Teodoro. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780316485272. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316485289. FILM
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While entertainment journalist Carlson’s (I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy) not so subtle coronation of Meryl Streep as Her Highness of Hollywood might be dead-on, the author’s incessantly cloying style, habit of referring to the actress as “Queen Meryl” and her acolytes as “Streepers,” and hagiographic approach make for an annoying appraisal of Streep’s career trajectory. In a People magazine meets TMZ mashup, Carlson wends her way through Streep’s biography and considerable cinematic canon, paying particular attention to reviews; critics’ assessments; Streep’s relationships with actors, directors, and writers; and, of course, the cornucopia of awards. Scattered throughout the text are frequent digressions in the form of shadow-boxed sidebars affixed with a little crown and lengthier asides that Carlson calls an “intermission.” In addition to the films, Carlson focuses on Streep’s strong familial bonds.
VERDICT Potentially fun for Streep fan boys and girls, although Michael Schulman’s Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, which Carlson references, is preferred

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