Prediction: 'Ricki and the Flash' Is Totally Getting Meryl Streep Another Oscar Nod
The first footage of the actress as an aging cover band singer was tear-jerking.
Meryl Streep has won an insane 19 Oscar nominations, and it looks like she's primed for a 20th for her rockstar turn in this summer's family drama Ricki and the Flash. The first few minutes of footage from the movie were revealed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas Wednesday evening, and we had a hard time keeping our eyes dry just for that.
The movie finds Streep playing the titular Ricki Randazzo, an aging cover band singer forced to reconnect with her family after her daughter is dumped right before her wedding. We didn't know what to expect with Streep going rock-n-roll, but in what we saw, she's surprisingly convincing as a sort of Melissa Etheridge-meets-Cyndi Lauper rocker whose glory days are behind her. Streep's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer, plays her daughter in the movie, adding a whole other layer of emotion to the proceedings. When Gummer's Julie complains that Ricki was an absentee mom, it's easy to imagine (even if it's not true) that there's a little reality mixed into the performance.
That dynamic was probably in director Jonathan Demme's mind when he was putting the movie together. Earlier this month he described the movie to Entertainment Weekly. "She comes back to Indiana to help rather than patch things up. And she’s very much persona non grata, showing up as mom for the first time in decades. Abandonment issues!”
Demme added that they kept Streep's real vocals in the final cut. "We didn’t use playback. We’re not sweetening it up on the soundtrack." He also says the Ricki covers "blow away" the originals. That's probably thanks, at least in part, to real-life rockstar Rick Springfield, who plays Ricki's guitarist and back-up singer. The footage we saw showed them rocking out a cover version of "American Girl" we'd definitely pay money to see.
Obviously it's too early to make any really accurate predictions, but Streep already looks like a contender for the Best Actress Oscar for this one. The movie hits theaters August 7 of this year.