• Meryl Streep Week kicks off Monday 31 August on SBS World Movies at 9:50pm, with her Oscar-winning turn in 1982's Sophie's Choice. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
SBS World Movies pays tribute to the extraordinary talent of Meryl Streep, with five career defining movies over five nights.
SBS Movies

28 Aug 2020 - 11:38 AM  UPDATED 28 Aug 2020 - 3:14 PM

"Actor's actor" is a term often used to describe Meryl Streep, a distinction usually saved for masters of the craft that aren't celebrated as much outside of industry circles. By contrast, Streep's accolades go far beyond her record-breaking number of Oscar nominations (21, resulting in three wins) and what her fellow thespians say of her, which include Leonardo Dicaprio's assertion that "[She] does things I would have never thought possible" and Sissy Spacek deeming her simply, "the greatest actor that ever lived".

Whether challenging herself in transformative roles or radiating charm in lighthearted escapist fare (or doing both), Streep has — for nearly 45 years — consistently proven herself everyone's actor.

Tune in to SBS World Movies starting Monday 31 August for five nights in a row of Streep's most beloved and acclaimed leading roles. 


Sophie's Choice

Monday 31 August, 9:50pm

MA15+, CC
USA, 1982
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
What's it about?
Streep won her first Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her acclaimed performance as Sophie, a survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who lives in Brooklyn with her lover Nathan (Kevin Kline), a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions. Based on the novel of the same name by William Styron, and directed by Alan J. Pakula (All The President's Men, Klute).

Sophie's Choice


Out of Africa

Tuesday 1 September, 9:30pm

USA, 1985
Genre: History, Romance, Drama
Language: English, Swahili
Director: Sydney Pollack
Starring: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen
What's it about?
Based on a true story. Streep (earning her sixth Oscar nomination) plays real-life author Karen Blixen, who moves from Denmark to Nairobi with her husband of convenience (Brandauer) to start a plantation. Once there, she falls for a British adventurer (Redford), and struggles with the troubles of daily life in Africa. Based on Blixen's own 1937 memoir, the film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


The Iron Lady

Wednesday 2 September, 9:35pm

UK, 2011
Genre: Drama, History, Biography
Language: English
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anthony Head, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Olivia Colman
What's it about?
A biopic of Margaret Thatcher (played by Streep in her third Oscar-winning performance), the divisive leader of the UK's Conservative Party from 1979-1990, and the first female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. The film's story is related by an elderly Thatcher talking to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband, while recalling scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British Prime Minister. Streep would donate her entire salary for the film ($1 million) to the US's National Women's History Museum (NWHM).


Florence Foster Jenkins

Thursday 3 September, 9:30pm

USA, 2016
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Rebecca Ferguson
What's it about?
Streep plays the infamous Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a profound inability to carry a tune. Directed by Stephen Frears (The QueenMy Beautiful Laundrette), Streep's performance earned her her 20th Oscar nomination and was raved by Guy Lodge of Variety: "[H]er characterisation skates graciously shy of belittling burlesque: There’s an empathetic ardor for performance at work here, one that deftly coaxes even bewildered viewers into her corner."

Florence Foster Jenkins review: A bright, bubbly and ear-bursting biopic
Meryl Streep sings – sort of – for her supper in Stephen Frears' marshmallowy biopic of the famously inept soprano.


It's Complicated

Friday 4 September, 9:30PM (streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand)

USA, 2009
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Alexandra Wentworth, John Krasinski
What's it about?
One of Streep's biggest box office hits sees the actor using her natural charm as Jane, a mother of three whose amicable relationship with her remarried ex-husband Jake (Baldwin) unexpectedly becomes more than amicable, which in turn makes her something almost unimaginable - the other woman. Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane's kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realises he's become part of a love triangle.


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