After sitting through the screening for this film and deciding that I liked it, I began to think about what made me like the film. Sometimes when you do this it sorta alters your view of what you just watched. I came to the conclusion that what I liked about the film were Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep’s performances. Stanley Tucci is one of those actors that has been in a million films, never in a starring role, and no matter if the film is good or bad he turns in a good performance. He plays the part of the magazine’s art director/second in command so well and it is definitely a role that could have been painful to watch in the wrong hands. He plays the fashionista (can you use that term for men?) of ambiguous sexuality as a real person rather than a caricature it could have been.
The same comment can be used when describing Meryl Streep’s performance. She does not make Miranda Priestly an over-the-top bitch; the performance is much more nuanced than that. The character is a powerful and scary woman who never raises her voice or throws things; Miranda is played as a woman who is secure with and in her power. Streep does throw in some moments of vulnerability just to make the character multi-dimensional and human. The performances by these two veteran actors are what save the film.
Director David Frankel (directed episodes of television’s Sex in the City and Entourage) has made a film that is a feel-good type of film, but ultimately is too simplistic in its outlook. The film is very predictable. You have no doubt from the beginning that the character of Andy will realize what is really important to her by the end of the film. Part of the reason for this is the predictability of the screenplay and part is Anne Hathaway’s performance. She does look great in all those gorgeous clothes but hers is a performance without layers or nuances.
Also the handling of a female of power is kinda bobbled in the film. The simplistic route is taken with the usual allusions to a woman having to work harder than a man for respect and then being thought of as a bitch for being tough. Hey! Let’s have something new said on the subject. For readers of the successful book, the film does stay fairly faithful to it.
Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway – The Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain) has turned down an acceptance to law school at Stanford because she wants to be a journalist. She moves to New York with her boyfriend, Nate (Adrian Grenier – from television’s Entourage). Andy is sent for a job interview at Runway magazine to be editor Miranda Priestly’s (Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice, The Hours) second assistant. Andy sticks out like a sore thumb at the office as she is not interested in fashion nor is she fashion conscious. Somehow she gets the job and tries her best to do a good one.
Things are definitely not made easy for her. She has to suffer through the insults of Emily (Emily Blunt – My Summer of Love, Into the Woods), Miranda’s first assistant and the abuse heaped on her by Miranda herself. The only person who is somewhat tolerant of Andy is the art director of the magazine, Nigel (Stanley Tucci – Lucky Number Slevin, Shall We Dance).
Andy, who still wants to be a journalist, vows to stay in the job for at least a year so she can make the contacts she needs to get a job writing for some publication. In order to do this, Andy knows she will have to make some changes.
-Audio Commentary with Director David Frankel, Producer Wendy Finerman, Costume Designer Patricia Field, Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, Editor Mark Livolsi and Director of Photography Florian Ballhaus
- Deleted Scenes with Director and Editor Commentary
- Gag Reel
- Trivia Track