"What do I see? That's the question I'm most afraid of."
"I see me! Actress, woman, star and lover."
Death Becomes Her is a darkly comedic fantasy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn and the one and only Meryl Streep. Willis and Hawn are both good, but Streep is such a force, isn't she? We know she excels in dramatic roles, has a skill for accents, and is a wonderful singer/dancer to boot (as evident by her hilarious performance that opens up the film), but her comedic chops gets featured here to my absolute delight.
Streep is always such an expressive actor using her whole body and her face to convey just the appropriate emotion or message. In this film, she's asked to be vulnerable, mean, funny and so much more and she took to it all wonderfully. One of my favorite sequences highlighting her demonstrative gift happens early in the film as she reunites with her nemesis.
In the first shot, for example, you can almost feel how tense she is and her whole face and body language is giving us such a pitch perfect Miranda Priestly (14 years earlier). The second shot is even more telling especially when you think that right after it she immediately turns around and puts on the most fake smile and making it work. This was almost my pick for best shot, but that honor actually goes to Streep and her tongue.
Look at that silly shot. Now, what did I say about Streep being an expressive actor? This moment is in the midst of her big fight with her husband, calling him all sort of names including repeating the word "flaccid" more than a few times. She berates and taunts him and Streep is just so damn committed, tongue and all. It's a random moment in the film, but even here Streep doubles down. Perhaps the script said she sticks out her tongue right there, but I bet it didn't and it was just Streep being glorious herself.
So what do we see? Meryl Streep... actress, woman, star.