Berlin Film Festival to honor Meryl Streep
The New York Film Critics' Circle award may be the only significant trophy Meryl Streep has claimed so far this season, but she's certainly keeping her end up in terms of career honors. On the heels of an elaborate tribute to the actress at the Kennedy Center Honors comes news of a similar award on the other side of the ocean: Streep will be presented with an Honorary Golden Bear at next month's Berlin International Film Festival.
A screening of "The Iron Lady" will accompany the presentation of the Honorary Golden Bear, though I presume not as part of the official festival lineup. Other Streep films to be screened as part of the festival's Streep homage include "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Out of Africa," "Sophie's Choice," "The Bridges of Madison County" and (six years after it premiered at the Berlinale) "A Prairie Home Companion."
Streep is the first American actor to receive this accolade since Kirk Douglas in 2001; other past recipients range from James Stewart to Catherine Deneuve to Robert Altman. She's certainly the highest-profile honoree in several years -- last year's recipient was Armin Mueller Stahl -- and will add a healthy shot of star power to the wintry festival, which I'll be covering for the third time this year.
It's actually Streep's third Berlinale honor: in 2003, she shared the festival's Best Actress prize with Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman for "The Hours," and won a Berlinale Camera in 1999. (Don't ask me what the latter award means; something similar to this year's, I'm guessing.) Anyway, no lifetime achievement award for Streep can really be argued with, and I'm eager to see the presentation on February 14. (She'll presumably be in that part of the world following the BAFTAs two days before.)