Meryl Streep is, without a doubt, one of the best actresses in the history of cinema and probably also among the favorites of the public. Her impeccable acting skills, which have been with her since her debut, have only improved over the years. 1975 would mark her Broadway stage debut as Miss Imogen Parrott in the play Trelawny des Puitswhile the following year saw her break into television, landing a small role in the independent film Everybody get on the carousel. Shortly after, came her last but most important debut: in 1977, she starred in the drama film about the Holocaust. Juliaushering in what was to become a very successful career.
With more than 400 nominations and having won half of those awards, the actress, per Insider, has several records to her name. Streep is recognized for being one of the few artists nominated for both the Triple Crown of Acting and EGOT, as well as her record number of Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations, with 21 and 32 nominations, respectively. Among his most famous films are Sophia’s Choice, The devil wears Prada, Madison County Bridges, Kramer versus Kramer and Death becomes herbut most of the films she has starred in, which currently number nearly 80, have become hits.
Well known for her versatility and ability to mimic nearly any accent, Streep has dabbled in nearly every genre, ranging from drama to comedy and everything in between. Among her many adventures, she also tried her luck in a genre that suits her very well: musical films. Although she didn’t participate in so many others, she excelled in all of them. Hence, this article will review the best Meryl Streep musical movies, ranked.
In 2020, writer, director and producer Ryan Murphy wrapped his first feature film for Netflix, the musical Prom. With a stellar cast led by Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells, and featuring Jo Ellen Pellman in her acting debut, this film follows Emma (Pellman), a young lesbian student from a small conservative town in Indiana. Emma can’t wait to attend prom with her girlfriend, but despite being supported by the school principal, the James Madison High School PTA isn’t happy about it, so they cancel the event altogether, prompting the entire student body to vent their frustration on Emma. Once a group of Broadway performers hear about this unfair decision, they rush to town to defend Emma, in a bid to ensure she gets the prom she’s always dreamed of, as well as to relaunch their own careers. This film received mixed reviews: while the songs and performances were praised, it was criticized for its storytelling and for perpetuating stereotypes.
5 A Prairie Housemate
A Prairie Housemate was the last film directed by Robert Altman, and it served as a tribute to the radio show of the same name. In fact, Garrison Keillor, the radio show host, was the screenwriter for the film as well as part of the cast, which also included Streep, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and Tommy Lee Jones, among others. The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary show and its segments, as well as the daily lives of its performers. With the upcoming demolition of the Fitzgerald Theatre, the show’s home, its stars must come to terms with what could be their last show, and at the same time do their best to stay on the air.
4 In the woods
In 2014, In the woods, Disney’s screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical of the same name, has been released. Directed by Rob Marshall, In the woods could be the modern take on classic children’s stories, interweaving its characters into a single story featuring a baker and his wife as a couple who wish to have children, but are unable due to a witch’s curse on their family. Determined to break the curse, they both go into the woods to gather the ingredients requested by the witch, who promises to reverse the curse. However, their actions are bound to have catastrophic consequences, so the pair must find allies and restore peace to their land. The headliner of this production is Streep as The Witch, alongside Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Johnny Depp, among others.
3 Mama Mia! Here we go again
One thing that Mama Mia!The proven result is that you can improve and learn from your mistakes. In 2018, a decade after the first film, Mama Mia! Here we go again created, an episode that served as both a prequel and sequel to the original. Featuring all of the original cast and incorporating hit singer Cher as Ruby, Donna’s (Streep) mother and Lily James as Young Donna, the film simultaneously tells two stories: Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried), back on the island a few years after the wedding, pregnant and ready to open the Bella Donna Hotel, and Donna’s past, and how she met her best friends and greatest lovers.
2 Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins Returns is a 2018 Disney film that served as the sequel to Mary Poppins, the 1964 production starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Directed by Emily Blunt and set in London during the Great Depression, audiences reunite with Jane and Michael Banks, the children of the first film, now adults. Michael recently lost his wife and he lives alone with his three children, with many debts to pay that threaten to leave them homeless. Consequently, Mary Poppins, Michael and Jane’s childhood nanny, reappears in the Banks family’s lives in order to restore their lost joy. Joining Blunt in the cast are Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Streep and Dick Van Dyke, among others. In this film, Streep plays Topsy, Mary Poppins’ eccentric cousin, and showcases her musical talents by singing “Turning Turtle”.
1 Mama Mia!
This 2008 musical romantic comedy ranks high on this list because it is, without a doubt, the film in which Streep best showcases his musical talents. Mama Mia! is based on the musical of the same name written by Catherine Johnson, who is also the screenwriter of the film. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, the film centers on Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), a young woman from the Greek island of Kalokairi about to marry her fiancé at her mother Donna’s (Streep) villa. Unbeknownst to Donna, her daughter has secretly invited three men to the wedding, one of whom, according to her mother’s diary, may be her father. Joining Streep and Seyfried in the cast are Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper and Christine Baranski. The film was a box office hit, although it was criticized by pundits for being a bit far-fetched, as well as for some actors’ performances, as they had no singing experience. However, Mama Mia! consistently became the highest-grossing live musical of all time, until it was overtaken by The beauty and the Beast in 2017, and it also became the record holder for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film based on a Broadway musical. Its soundtrack, based on ABBA’s hit songs, remains hugely popular to this day.