Career-boosting challenges for Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch
Meryl Streep never runs out of thespic surprises for her loyal followers: After demonstrating how magical she can be even in a complex singing role (“Into The Woods”), her ineffable greatness is on view once again in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash,” where she portrays Ricki Rendazzo, an aging rocker who wishes to reconnect with the three, now-adult children she left behind to pursue rock stardom.
The sacrifice hasn’t necessarily turned Ricki into a household name—in fact, in between gigs, she “moonlights” as a cashier to make ends meet. When her estranged daughter, Julie (portrayed by Streep’s real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer), attempts to commit suicide, Ricki’s ex-husband, Pete (Kevin Kline), asks her to help Julie through the difficult time. But, are her deficient parenting skills retroactively enough to help her daughter pick up the pieces?
Moreover, does Ricki deserve another chance to make amends? We can’t wait to see how Streep puts some sense and soul-stirring sensibility into her character’s ambiguous complexity, but we know she’s up to the task—because, after all, Hollywood’s greatest living actress has yet to disappoint us!
Cumberbatch is ‘Strange’
For his part, hot-to-trot leading man Benedict Cumberbatch is about to embark on potentially career-boosting acting adventures that will see him veering further away from his Oscar-worthy portrayals (“The Imitation Game”) and art-house niche.
He will play Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’ upcoming adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” In “Black Mass,” he portrays the senator-brother of Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), the most infamous criminal in the history of South Boston, who opted to become an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.
Cumberbatch’s biggest shot at “mainstream” stardom comes by way of Marvel’s latest big-screen superhero, “Doctor Strange”—a top neurosurgeon who discovers his calling as a super crimefighter after he crushes his hands in a car accident.
Will this superhero iteration be as affably winsome as Ant-Man, or as dismayingly dour as the Fantastic Four? Let’s wait and see!