This film dissects the body of Meryl Streep in her cinematic incarnations, looking for traces of a single skeleton beneath the diverse landscape of her personas and narratives. Behind decades of comedies, dramas, and musicals, behind the film bodies of Jews, Italians, and Americans, I search for an always recurring and familiar set of gestures and movements that could only belong to Meryl.
Her nervous habit of pulling on loose strands of hair, the scornful look of her teary eyes, the self-deprecating chortle – they return and punctuate her performances, altering just slightly with time and genre. This film splices and sews together these repeating and cyclical gestures from Meryl Streep’s screened corpus, until one coherent body is made from a pile of hair colors, accents, and skin ages.
"Meryl Strip" will always be a work in progress, at least as long as Meryl Streep continues to live and make movies.