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The 73rd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from Thu, Feb 16, 2023 - Sun, Feb 26, 2023
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters brings you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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Meryl Streep wins heart and minds on Valentines Day in Berlin

by Alex Deleon

With the Fest at Midpoint Two American Iron Ladies  have dominated the scene thus far, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep. For the first four days it was all about Angela, her hard hitting Bosnian genocide film, and her hectic personal life.
On Valentines Day, Feb. 14, which comes exactly in the middle of the festival, it was Meryl Streep Day, who arrived to pick up a Berlin Bear Lifetime award and held forth before an enthralled overflow press conference audience. Jolie, 36, and now at the peak of her celebrity, is probably the more metallic of the two, whereas Streep, now a mellow 62, came off as far more human and far less ironclad in spite of her mesmerizing Iron Lady portrayal. 


The press conferences held by both American stars were of the kind where even jaded media reps were willing to wait outside for over an hour just to get a seat inside the room as scores of others milled about outside the guarded pressroom doors trying to catch glimpses of the proceedings on two hallway TV sets.   The Jolie meeting focusing on her directorial debut "Land of Blood and Honey" was charged with an air of tension as the actgress turned director fielded what might have been challenging questions deftly turning aside potentially ominous innuendos.  Upon arrival that night on th Red Carpet at the Gala of the film clad in a floor length gold lame gown she was accompanied by equally famous consort Brad Pitt who kept discretely to the side with only a few little waves to his own admirers, then accompanied la Jolie on the carpet stride as she too gingerly flittered upraised fingers to the shivering fans at the ropes.  Brad's hair was almost as long as Angela's gown but he did keep a relatively low profile xinced it was. after all, her night.  Their stately procession along the carpet seemed intended to convery an impression of true royalty condescending to allow the peasants a closeup look at their godlike idols.  An interesting sidelight is the presence here of former Jolie husband --from her wild and woolly early days --Billy-Bob Thornton, who has a film in competition here, with the intriguing titole of "Jayne Mansfield's Car". Inevitably queried by the press as to his current relationship with Angelina and whether he had run into her and Brad here, Billy-Bob stated that they were now just very good friends -- Pitt included, but that they had not yet crossed paths at the festival. I had already seen "The Iron Lady" back in the states, but decided to re-see it here just to double check -- and I saw it in a completely different light with its undeniable European relevance here in Berlin.  Whereas the German papers had been full of Jolie the first four days -- (one had a two page spread saying" Jolie is Honey for the Berlin Bears"  -- not to mention gold for the Gossip mongers) -- suddenly it was all about The Iron Lady, memories of Margaret Thatcher and Meryl Streep's amazing performance in this and other films in her fantastic career.  Ms. Streep answered even the most banal questions thoughtfully and displayed a very keen intelligence moderated by a subtle sense of modesty. "After all , I grew up in a small town in New  Jersey, so sometimes it is hard for me to believe that all this attention has come my way --and it is a special honor to be recognized in a foreign country at a major film festival such as this -- like a dream coming true...".Streep was accompanied on the podium by English actor Jim Broadbent, who plays her ghostly husband in the film, along with director Phylidda Lloyd who had many cogent things to say regarding the conception and making of the film and the relationship to the original "Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher, who is still alive and was so dubbed by the Russians during the Cold war. More on that next time.Alex..


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About Berlin

Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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