Hollywood's Super Woman

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Actors Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier and Anne Hathaway attend the 20th Century Fox premiere of The Devil Wears Prada at the Loews Lincoln Center Theatre on June 19, 2006 in New York City.
GETTY IMAGES/Evan Agostini

CBS News Sunday Morning contributor David Edelstein selfishly admits he is still waiting for Meryl Streep to blow him away on-screen.


Superman returns to the big screen and super-actress Meryl Streep does too in two new comedies, "The Devil Wears Prada" and "A Prairie Home Companion."

It's fun to watch her strut her stuff, and I'm also thrilled she'll play Brecht's "Mother Courage" in New York this summer. I still remember her 30 years ago on Broadway in the Brecht musical "Happy End."

She was the most mesmerizing stage presence I've ever seen. I know it's a minority view given all her awards, but I'm waiting for Streep to blow me away onscreen the same way.

In her flashy, early film performances, her virtuosity might have gotten in her way. She seemed overcalculated. She became the queen of accents in prestige movies like "Sophie's Choice" and "Out of Africa."

The good news is that age has made Streep more open and vulnerable, and she gravitates toward character parts that take advantage of her genius comic timing. In the lovely Robert Altman-Garrison Keillor collaboration "A Prairie Home Companion," she does a sister act with Lily Tomlin; and when Streep plays performers, something childlike and giddy comes out that's pure magic.

In "The Devil Wears Prada," she's back to doing overcalculated stage business and yet the performance is a small triumph.

The movie is from a thinly-veiled revenge memoir by Lauren Weisberger based on her stint as assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Streep doesn't look or act like Wintour, but she's a breathtaking ogre. Her Miranda Priestley is a performer, too: a prima donna whose world is a stage on which everyone else is a fawning extra.

The movie is a collection of chick-flick clichés that panders to its audience's Cinderella fantasies. The heroine, played by Anne Hathaway, is a goody two-shoes who gets to wear haute-couture shoes and other drop-dead outfits, while proving she's not a vacuous materialist like everyone else.

But I'll say this for "The Devil Wears Prada:" It's gorgeously accessorized, and with Streep at the center, it does give the devil her due.