Thought this was an interesting admission. I never really liked the movie as a whole but thought she was fine in it.
I wonder if her opinion of it is clouded by what happened with Sweet Dreams years later.
Also wonder how she feels about not getting that Oscar. Of all her nominations I would say that was the only time she was favored and didn’t win. Actually I’d say almost all her Oscar nights were highly predictable except for this one and The Iron Lady.
Meryl realllly doesn’t like Dustin Hoffman lol.
She has said this a number of times
1981. Streep’s first leading role came opposite Jeremy Irons in a hail-of-mirrors adaptation of John Fowles’ novel. She played two roles – the haunted mistress of a Victorian gentleman, and the modern-day actress playing her – an won her first Best Actress nomination.
“I thought it was very interesting, but I must say, I could never attach to either of my characters ever. It was very disconcerting – I didn’t know who I was at any given moment. This movie… set me aside from myself. I didn’t know where the actress was manipulating the guy through her character. Everything was so conscious, and I don’t like to be conscious when I’m acting. I like to be unconscious – extremly unconscious.”
Well, she’s spot-on – “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” is a supreme snooze. So glad she didn’t frown upon one of her camp classics (“Death Becomes Her” or “She-Devil”) instead.
Surely it’s not a great movie but she’s great in it. She does a British accent more naturally than basically any of her American contemporaries.
There is an artificial element to Streep as Sara Woodruff, but in the context of the film (being played by an actress) I think it works. I honestly prefer this performance to a lot of her more recent ones. Though I do find the contemporary scenes a bit of a snooze, but that’s not her fault.
If The French Lieutenant’s Woman deserved one Oscar, it was Carl Davis’s gorgeous score, but unfortunately it wasn’t even nominated.
I still think this has something to do with her feeling betrayed by Karel Reisz. He offered her Sweet Dreams and then for some unexplained reason gave it to Jessica Lange at the last minute.
She was good, but not Streep good. Basically. 97% of actresses would be satisfied with that performance, but she knows she could have done better, because, if we are completely honest, she probably could have.
BTW, this reminded me of “The Americans” and Nina criticizing the movie 🙂