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Read the Definitive Meryl Streep Matrix

Meryl Streep, America's favorite actress™, plays an unhappy, Midwestern wife to Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs, opening today. The film is apparently much more somber than it looks, at least if you've seen any posters or commercials for the film, which paint Streep as a chirpy empty-nester hell-bent on spicing up her defunct sex life. But we've reached a point now at which it's become almost too easy to peg Streep's roles to a certain type of character: buoyant and bubbly, glasses on and off in films like It's Complicated and Mamma Mia! to more stoic, juicily melodramatic fare like Doubt and The Iron Lady. We've devised a definitive, comprehensive matrix that plots Streep's shining moments in cinema, from her yappy, overbearing Jewish mother in Prime to the French lieutenant's woman in ... well, you know.

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