Ricki and the Flash (12A)

Directed by Jonathon Demme
Starring Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline

Seemingly released with barely any fanfare in the UK, Meryl Streep plays ageing rocker Ricki, who returns to her estranged family to help her daughter through a divorce. Ricki reacquaints herself with ex-husband Kevin Kline and her children led by Streep's daughter Mamie Gummer, while juggling her pub band with sometime boyfriend Rick Springfield.
There is a really terrific drama in here that struggles to be heard above the endless rock cover versions added to show Streep can rock out. Writer Diablo Cody has always written interesting roles, and I really wanted more of Streep and Gummer together. Streep Jr is an excellent actress and really takes the depressed look seriously, looking VERY grotty at the start! She is blessed/cursed with looking a LOT like her mother, but don't yell nepotism, she is a very good actress and I hope to see her in lots more film and TV int he future.
Sadly, Kline is almost totally sidelined, along with talented actors like Audra MacDonakd and Sebastian Stan. Streep is an actress I admire a lot for the chances she will take and the range of roles she takes on. Compare and contrast to Robert DeNiro, supposed greatest actor of his generation who has played the EXACT same role for the past 20 years!! Raging Bull and King of Comedy are a long time ago Bob! Meryl on the other hand will sing in Mamma Mia and Into the Woods and here - three very different singing roles. She pops up in the slightly dull Sufragette too this year.
of course, she and Kevin Kline memorably starred together in 'Sophie's Choice' in 1982, when Streep won Best Actress at the Oscars. Kline can be a really dynamic actor and also very very funny. Sadly, we get more Rick Springfield than Kevin Kline. Not that Springfield is bad - although a few of his heartfelt speeches walked a fine line between genuine and hammy.
The family drama is the draw for me. Cut 15 mins of the far too frequent competant but dull songs and more of the characters who were really intriguing


September 2015

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