April 12, 2009
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Mamma Mia

It was a good night for silliness, so we watched Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep really is incredible. There's a shot, about an hour into the movie, where she’s standing on a trail, dressed in a blouse and a shawl, arguing with a man. It’s a fairly long shot, and I thought to myself, “She looks like Elli!”

Now, Meryl Streep doesn’t actually look much, or anything, like Elli. And, whatever dim associations ABBA calls to mind, it’s not really the dean of Humanities Computing. They sound nothing like each other (though I’ve heard Streep, convincingly, as everything from a young New Yorker to an elderly Russian rabbi and so, presumably, she can sound like anyone), and in any case there's no dialog because the whole gang is singing.

But, there you have it. Wear the shawl just right, move just right, it’s convincing. Even in the middle distance, without words.