“Meryl Streep Isn’t on Our List of Greatest Actors — Here’s Why” is a 12.4.20 Times Insider piece by Sarah Bahr. The article explores the thinking about A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis‘s recent, widely ridiculed “25 Greatest Actors of 21st Century” piece.
Does Bahr address the obvious, which is that the 25 were (a) chosen according to a progressive woke checklist that favored women, POCs, international actors and Wes Studi, and (b) downplayed white cis males (i.e., Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.)? Of course not. Does she allow or encourage Scott to dispute the forehead-slapping response to his not only having selected Keanu Reeves but put his name near the top of the list? Nope.
I get the idea behind celebrating a “man of the people” actor whose emotive gifts are, shall we say, on the somewhat brusque or understated side. If Tony and Manohla had somehow time-tripped back to 1975 and prepared a “25 Greatest Actors of the Last 25 Years” article, I would have completely understood if they’d picked the original Steve McQueen, and offered special praise for his less-is-more acting in The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, Junior Bonner and The Getaway. That I would have totally agreed with, but Keanu effing Reeves?
Here’s Scott’s Keanu statement: