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Recommend Months of Meryl: The Hours (2002) (Email)

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JohnandMattheware watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.

#29 —Clarissa Vaughan,a higher-up and hostess of the New York literary scene attempting to throw a party for her dying friend.

MATTHEW:  Even before Meryl Streep stepped before the cameras as the unraveling hostess Clarissa Vaughan on Stephen Daldry'sThe Hours,the actress already possessed a role in Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer-winning,tripartite meditation on love,loss,and Virginia Woolf.Early on in Cunningham's 1999 novel,Clarissa,while shopping for flower,catches sight of a movie star who may be Streep or Vanessa Redgrave or,much less excitingly for Clarissa,Susan Sarandon emerging from her trailer with an "aura of regal assurance."Streep's ephemeral appearance in what will prove to be one of the most pivotal days of Clarissa's life signifies,quite literally,the sublime;her quasi-cameo is a perfect encapsulation of one of those chance,indirect encounters with a famous face that we use,with varying levels of embarrassment,to distract us from the mundanities of our daily routine,a glimpse of the extraordinary amid the everyday.That Streep the Star,who was gifted a copy of "The Hours"by Redgrave's late daughter Natasha Richardson,is removed from Daldry's film speaks to the many,many excisions that occur within any page-to-screen transfer,but it also informs us that Streep's cinematized Clarissa Vaughan is simply beyond distraction...

I will always appreciate Daldry's version as a rare if principally partitioned meeting of three extraordinary screen stars...


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