Media Analysis: Meryl Streep’s profile

By Michelle Li

For this week’s media analyze, I chose the profile of the actress Meryl Streep posted on guardian.co.uk, since we going to write one soon. The profile was written after the released of Streep’s first musical film “Mamma Mia,” which is a box-office success. Unlike a lot of profiles’ resemblance to an autobiography, the profile did not include every aspects of the Streep’s acting career, but emphasized on her musical experience.

“Meryl Streep was a devotee of Broadway musicals. Her mother used to take her to see the likes of Ethel Merman and Carol Channing on stage in Manhattan and for many years, the actress, who trained in music when she first went to university, nurtured the ambition to play the lead in a musical. “

The author pointed out that  Streep’s briliant performance in the movie is not random, but because she had earlier experience and training as a musician. In the mid-Nineties, Streep went after the part of Evita in the film of the musical. “Mama Mia” made her child dream come true as a singer.

The profile used feature style and a lot techniques of scene-setting and description. What I like about this article is it says a lot of about Streep’ acting experience as a child, and how that period influenced her later professional career.

The author is very smart in terms of when and where to show his personal opinion yet not being called “opinionated” . When talking about Streep’s earlier relationship with Cazale who best known as Fredo Corleone in The Godforther, he just told readers what exact happened. Cazale died because of bone cancer after he and Streep got engaged. The reason is, as far as I’m concerned, that relationship did not go well and it involved in personal life of Streep. Nevertheless, in other aspects, author did not hide his preference and personal opinions at all when talking about Streep’s performance in other movies. The author explained that after Streep has won two Oscars and made the Academy shortlist a record 14 times, she went a whole five years from 1991 to 1996 without an Oscar nomination. He wrote,

“As the part of the brittle beauty began to dry up, she made a number of unwise excursions into comedy, most obviously with the mirthless She-Devil and Death Becomes Her.”

The profile is very fun to read with the combination of personal opinions and facts. The author did not fall into either the plain and dull chronological details, or the biased personal opinion.

About michelleqianli

Michelle QianLi is currently studying MCDM at University of Washington. She is a native-born Chinese and came to U.S. in 2008.
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