The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Meryl and Julia are teaming up on a big movie, Jennifer Aniston is making another switch, and a new show sounds very exciting.
Long rumored, now confirmed: Actresses Meryl Streep (She-Devil) and Julia Roberts (Mary Reilly) will make their first film appearance together in an adaptation of Tracy Letts' big, beautiful, bruising barnstormer of a play August: Osage County, for which he won the Pulitzer and a whole raft of other awards. It's an Oklahoma-set tale of family strife and secrets and it is fantastic. So we should be excited, right? Except... Eh. Meryl Streep is great and all, but for this role she's a little too... Meryl Streepy. This character is a decaying Oklahoma pill-addict who hard-scrabbled her way out of squalor and into a fairly decent kind of life. Streep can do most any voice and intonation and all that, but in recent years she's had a hard time not seeming, well, patrician. (The one exception being her stage work in Mother Courage back in 2006, which we hope she draws on for this.) But Streep is way less of a problem than Roberts. Roberts is too young for this role, this big meaty role (oh, sorry, she'll play one of Streep's three daughters), and as evidenced by her.. let's say quaint work in Closer, she's not the most adept actress at turning stage words into believable movie words. She just doesn't seem world-weary enough for the role and, frankly, just can't act it. Nope. Just can't. If they needed a celebrity for this part (rather than Amy Morton, who played it on stage), they should have gone with Sandra Bullock. (She's not perfect either, far from it, but she'd be better than Roberts.) Anyway! Nobody cares. Only a few theater dorks care. Meryl and Julia. Together. Pulitzer-winning play. Oscar buzz abounds. OK. [Entertainment Weekly]
The Switch star Jennifer Aniston is considering dropping the "The" and joining the cast of Switch, the upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, which is actually called The Switch. Switch switch is which! Oh just think of all the jokes. But anyway, Dennis Quaid is also considering a role and John Hawkes, Ty Burrell, and Mos Def, excuse me, Yasiin Bey, are already cast. Aniston would play Quaid's wife, who is kidnapped by two idiots who then team up with the wife after it's apparent that her husband doesn't want her back. It's a fun, light Elmore Leonard story and it could, unless they Bounty Hunter it up, pose a good indie acting opportunity for Aniston. Which she desperately needs. The Good Girl was a longggg time ago. So we say do this, Aniston. But make sure they don't Derailed it up. Just make sure they don't do that. [Deadline]