Monday, August 10, 2009

Say It with Meaning

Method actors, said the CBS film critic, pull from the inside and bring it out for all the world to see, possibly reliving the pain they are trying to depict. Meryl Streep on the other hand is all about the externals -- the walk, the gestures and the voice.

A woman of a 1,000 voices she has convinced us she had ties to Russia, Denmark, Australia and Yonkers. Now she is doing a better Julia Child than Julia Child. Not an easy task given that caricature is the next door neighbor to character and she could have easily fallen into an impersonation of Dan Akroyd doing Julia Child. But Julia doesn't just have the laugh, the trilling "r" and the high pitched little-old-lady thing happening. No she pulls herself up to her full 5 feet and probably 8 inches and within moments you know she's 6 ft. 2. It's an amazing transformation.

At the moment, I'm watching a not so amazing feat however. The Closer, while fun and sometimes funny and filled with some great character actors has Kyra Sedgewick doing Southern. That's not unlike putting onions, lox and capers on a biscuit. There's nothing really wrong with it but ... it just ain't right.

I'm sure Kyra is an incredible woman and I know she's a great actress and frankly that orange juice commercial that's playing these days with her dancing around the kitchen with a wooden spoon has me in awe of her yoga abilities. The woman has no bones beneath her waist . . . at least not in this commercial.

But Southern isn't just "thaaaaank you" uttered with some store bought drawl. Southern is a few more externals (if we follow the Streep method of acting). We touch each other when we want to make a point or put the conversation on pause. We fidgit and hide our inadequacies (even if they are only figments of our imagination). We are the bees in the honeysuckle moving in and out and enjoying our work with abandon. Yes, we have guilt and fret and are anxious but we ae all that with a smile that looks way more genuine than what this "Chief Brenda" is doling out.

Still I'm thrilled she's on and I'll keep watching. And I'll keep hoping that Holly Hunter will be more than just on the same network and might drop in one night and give Kyra some lessons in y'all. But, all in all, I'm thrilled. We have women -- beautiful, strong women holding their own in relationships, screwing up, and amazing us with grace the closer we get.

Meryl is in the kitchen. Kyra and Holly are on TNT and women over 40 have sounded the alarm. Woohoo!


some chick said...

I know this has been argued and argued, but I'm gonna have to say that y'all is spelled with the apostrophe after the y, not the a.

What say you, fellow Southern woman who also touches others when she talks?

p.s. Texas Monthly uses it after the y.

p.s.s. Love your post. I read recently that Meryl Streep eats young actresses for breakfast. Awesome.

p.s.s.s. SOOOO glad you're blogging again. We've missed you and your (Southern) voice.

KC said...

Point well taken. Blog now edited. Good to be back to writing (and even editing) again. Keeping an eye out for you on FB and even in the snippets there can see those children growing up on us. Wow. Anyway you can slow that down?