as Lindy Chamberlain in A CRY IN THE DARK (1988)

Based on the true story of Lindy Chamberlain that shocked and divided a nation in the early 1980s. During a camping trip to Ayer's Rock in Australia's outback, baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears from the family tent when her mother Lindy (Meryl Streep) witnesses a dingo - an Australian wild dog - dragging a bundle out of the tent. Azaria's body is never found. The police notes some apparent inconsistencies in her story, and Lindy is eventually charged with murder. 

                                                                             "I'm told, "Don't talk like you normally talk. Watch how you hold your mouth. You look too sour and crabby. Don't get angry. Don't ask too many questions, or they think you're trying to be smart. And never, never, never laugh or you're an uncaring bitch." Well, I can't cry to order, and I won't be squashed into some dumb act for the public... or for you."
                                         - Lindy Chamberlain

Meryl Streep earned her very deserved eighth Oscar nomination playing a mother of family, eventually charged with murder. Meryl Streep gives one of her finest performances. The case attracted a 
lot of attention, turning an investigation into a media circus, with the public divided in their opinions, and the movie shows how this attention can affect a situation. Meryl Streep is authentic, gives a portrait without pretense, and shows an ambiguous and stunning character. Meryl follows the original public perception of Lindy, and rightly she did not behaved as "the weeping, screaming, bereaved mother - she was more like 'None'a your f----ucking business how I feel!'". Her interpretation leads the audience to question whereas in principle,  there are no doubts to have, the director has chosen to present the terrible events in the outback in such a way that there's never any doubt  about what happened, but her performance is so true and the situation so real that you can't resist and you have doubts. She never try to be sympathetic to the audience, she’s cold, react weirdly and show no emotions, Meryl shows us a woman who deliberately refused to allow insights into herself, this character appears emotionless except in the courtroom scenes. In those, she shows herself fearless, fierce and full of anger but also very heartbreaking, touching  and disturbing when she was questioned about the night her baby was taken by the dingo. 

"Streep - yes, with another perfect accent - brings her customary skillfulness to the part. It's not a showy performance, but the heroine's internal struggle seems to come from the actress' pores"
                                                                                               - Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

Meryl Streep is a chameleon, behind the physical transformation and the perfect Australian accent, she vanishes and gives life to Lindy, she dominates all the scenes. It is a true testament of a great performance, rightly rewarded by the best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 



  1. I loved her for the first time. She's indeed great.

  2. Of all of Meryl's nominated performances I haven't seen, this is by far the one I'm most interested in. Lovely review.

  3. This and Sophie's Choice pose as Meryl's masterpiece creations.
    Truly amazing work.