By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Charles Taylor
By Melissa Anderson
By Inkoo Kang
By Amy Nicholson
By Sam Weisberg
Thankless hardly describes the situation. There were audible gasps in the junket-enriched audience when Miranda characterized Andy as a "smart fat girl." But that's before Runway's resident fairy godmother (Stanley Tucci) teaches Andy to go glamazon. Still happy and natural even in Manolos, she teeters on the brink of falling for Miranda's world though, still a nice girl, is uncomfortable taking the Eve Harrington role to which she's assigned.
A veteran of Sex and the City, Frankel knows his paper-doll accoutrements and further accessorizes boring Andy with entertaining sidekicksTucci and, elaborating on her rich-girl turn in My Summer of Love, Emily Blunt as Miranda's snippy senior assistant. There's also a grungy boyfriend (Adrian Grenier), always perfectly unshaven, who, as disapproving in his way as Miranda, exists mainly to inspire sympathy for the heroine. But nothing keeps Streep from devouring the movie. At once coolly indifferent and fanatically detail-obsessed, coiffed off-white hair emphasizing a hawk's hooded gaze, Streep is the scariest, most nuanced, funniest movie villainess since Tilda Swinton's nazified White Witch. To hear her dulcet exasperation"I just don't understand"is to experience what comic books used to call the Vault of Horror. Miranda dismisses her flunkies with a casual "that's all"a sign-off and trademark for the sweetest of '20s torch singers Annette Hanshaw that slices the air like cold steel.
The worm ultimately turns, tossing her cell phone into a fountain as Gary Cooper's marshal dropped his tin star in the dust. Cinderella resigns but rather than writing a nasty kiss-and-tell, gets a real journalistic job (at The Village Voice circa 1990 per Sunday, June 18's Arts & Leisure section), bouncing into the sunset à la Mary Tyler Moore circa 1970. Miranda smiles to herself, as well she might. The Devil Wears Prada is a tour de force for Streep, who gives her character an unexpected measure of depth, and vindication for Anna Wintourshe who cannot be represented unless it's by Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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