Liz Smith: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher — They Are Not Amused!

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher

And more form our Liz: Robert De Niro to pair with DiCaprio? … is Brad retiring? … is Kim K. “over?”  (if only!)

“I DON’T like compliments and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he tells her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean,” said Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere.

Lady Windermere was clearly not an actress.

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AKIN TO “slapping the Queen” is the reaction by some in Great Britain over America’s Meryl Streep and her performance in the biopic of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, now Baroness Thatcher.

Meryl is used to being worshiped everywhere and in almost everything. Her 19 Oscar nominations and two Academy Awards attest to that.

But some picky Brits seem determined to resist Meryl’s performance in “The Iron Lady.” One says Meryl portrays Thatcher as “a lonely figure slipping into dementia.” Still another dismisses the whole thing as a “Left-wing fantasy.”

Oh, tosh! I bet Meryl will pick up her 20th nomination.

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LEONARDO DICAPRIO is garnering some great reviews for his performance in “J.Edgar,” playing the corrupt, powerful, mysterious Mr. Hoover himself — a man who never knew too much.

DiCaprio is also interested in starring in another movie about powerful men with secrets. This would be the screen version of Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann’s Legacy of Secrecy, massive nonfiction about the assassination of John F.Kennedy.

Leo would play Jack Van Laningham, the FBI informant who got Carlos Marcello’s confession — that he, Marcello, had done the deed. Leo will also co-produce “Legacy of Secrecy” along with his father, George DiCaprio, via their Appian Way film company.

And who is “very very interested” in playing Marcello? Robert De Niro! De Niro was Leo’s first choice and also had the blessing of the real-life Jack Van Laningham.

This role would bring De Nrio back to the raw, edgy, dark, brutal characters that made up so much of his early film career. Then he went into comedy, spoofing his gruff characteristics. Indeed, many young moviegoers don’t know De Niro as anything but a comic actor! One thing’s for sure — “Legacy of Secrecy” ain’t funny. I mean, the book itself is 924 pages long.

Nothing has been set in stone or written in ink concerning De Niro’s participation, but hopes are high.

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ONE THING I wish actors wouldn’t do — announce their retirement. Brad Pitt is the latest. He gives himself three more years. Then he’ll be fifty and concentrate on the producing/directing side. Not to mention more time for Miss Jolie and all the kids. Why do I still envision Brad Pitt movies when he’s in his dashing 50’s? Actors seldom quit.

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THE MEDIA tells us things like “Kim Kardashian is over.” Fine by me! But they tell us on the front page of a daily newspaper, with a great big picture, rather undercutting the “over” allegation.

Madonna is a real star, so I hate to draw comparisons, but this is like when Madonna is always supposed to be “over.” Magazines have devote ten pages to her demise.

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TIPS for the topnotch people! (That’s all of us.) Sunbathe in the morning rather than in the afternoon if you want to avoid skin cancer. This from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, which claims that experiments on mice prove we have greater protection from harmful rays early in the day.

I was watching Diane Sawyer last Monday and she reported on stem cells from a person’s own body, grown in order to be replaced, that are capable of fighting heart disease. This will be discussed as it should be and fought over and proved and disproved — but it was totally “encouragin’” — as Ruth Gordon said when she was given the Oscar in her old age.

Now I’ll report something else “encouragin.’” I read this in the British papers and haven’t seen it anywhere else. A study of 100,000 people who had regularly had their teeth scraped and cleaned resulted in a 24% lower risk of a heart attack and a 13 % lower risk of stroke in those who had the treatment. The findings were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific meeting, whatever that is.

I never know whether to believe in good news or not. The British Dental Health Foundation seems to think there’s something to this. I hope so.

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ENDQUOTE: Last week The Hollywood Reporter gathered actresses Viola Davis, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams, Glenn Close and Carrie Mulligan for a “little chat.” It’s always interesting to hear actors talk — if they are intelligent, and these ladies are. But I think I liked best the last question, and these reactions. “What’s your biggest regret?”

Theron says: “I don’t have one. Are you kidding me? I don’t work in construction. I have a job I love.”

And Viola Davis reacts: “They’re princess problems, like ‘Gosh, I took that for the money.’ I was able to pay my mortgage — but God, I took it for the money!”

7 comments so far.

  1. avatar LandofLove says:

    Yes, Liz, studies have shown a connection between dental care and heart health. So, brush up, everyone! And don’t forget to floss!

  2. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    I’ll go Liz one better. Not only will this get Meryl her 20th nomination; this will be win # 3.

  3. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Liz, please never print the name of any Kardashian again — until they actually accomplish something other than making homemade porn and starring in fake weddings. Between Sarah Palin and the Kardashians, America is awash is whorish grifters. They deserve no additional publicity or celebrity. Please?

    • avatar sandra b says:

      Exactly Jay. And people who continually click on the web articles and rag about why she is still getting press don’t realize that websites report the number of hits on a site, not the content, so advertisers keep on signing up. Remember, any attention is better than none. If these articles about her stopped getting hits, the advertisers would fall off, and websites would quit giving her press.

  4. avatar sandra b says:

    I don’t remember the Brits throwing a fit about Helen Miren starring as Queen Elizabeth, and she was portrayed as none to receptive about honoring Diana’s funeral. On the contrary, Helen was invited for an audience with the queen. So is it because it’s an American portraying Margaret Thatcher? Seems like the Brits have an odd sense of outrage. Most were OK with Prince Harry dressing up as a Nazi, but are ticked about a film portrayal of a former PM.

  5. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    Re:  Viola Davis and taking the part for “the money”.  Many years ago I read a book which was written by Charlton Heston called (I believe) “An Actor’s Life”.  It was interesting in that not only did it include the artistic side of being an actor but also the business side–making mortgage payments, sending kids to the right schools, and dry spells and not working for great lengths of time, keeping your marriage together, etc.  So, Viola, you were a knockout in “The Help” and I suppose before that you had taken parts for “the money”.  So what?  A woman has to hold her own in “the business”. 

  6. avatar Rho says:

    I am with Count Snarkula, Ms. Streep is one of the best actors out there.  #3 it will be.