1. In the Heat of the Night (A+)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (B)
3. The Passion of the Christ (A)
4. Mamma Mia! (B)
And now for something completely different from those last few movies.
chick flick of the last few years (taking the baton from, oddly enough, another Meryl Streep movie, The Devil Wears Prada
), and one of the more successful musicals in recent memory. Also one of, I think, two prominent "jukebox musicals" put to film (the other being Julie Taymor's more artistically ambitious Across the Universe
). And it is, honestly, quite a good time; it embraces a lot of things that modern movie musicals have tended to shy away from (such as actually having the characters just burst into song, without justifying it as a performance in-universe or a fantasy sequence) for being too cheesy.
Amanda Seyfried has been one of my favourite young actresses for a while (since Mean Girls
and Veronica Mars
mid-decade), and she's good here; her singing voice is pretty good as well. Meryl Streep also surprisingly sings quite well. Pierce Brosnan is awful, but by God he's trying. There are a lot of movies that tout how much fun the cast had making it - whether that actually comes through onscreen varies greatly (for when it doesn't, see, say, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
). Here, it does. The chemistry between Streep and her two friends (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) is especially fun. That said, it's longer than it needs to be.
It's everything that was awesome about the 1970s and everything that was ridiculous about the 1970s (there's not inconsiderable overlap there).