merylfest: MARVIN’S ROOM (1996)
So, I’m definitely from the Marvin’s Room camp of people that equally loved Meryl‘s performance in the film as they did Diane Keaton‘s (though hers was the Oscar-nominated one). As Lee, the sister to Keaton’s Bessie, the two great ones are a match made in cinematic heaven. Streep is unflinchingly regular and virtually accent-less in this family dramedy (yeah, I hate that term too), so we get an almost completely raw version of Ms. Streep in this movie. It’s believable that she could be leading a double life as the hairdresser mother to Leonardo DiCaprio. The gist of the film is this: when Lee’s estranged sister Bessie, who has cared for their ailing father and aunt for years, falls ill herself, she calls on down-and-out Lee to come assist her. Needless to say, Lee is no angel. She’s a bitter divorcee with two sons, one of whom – Hank – is locked up in an institution for starting their house on fire (good ol’ DiCaprio). But what ensues from their short vacation to Florida to visit Aunt Bessie is pure acting goodness.