This goes beyond what it appears to at first. Even I was surprised when I discovered it.
A year ago, I posted this video of Anne Hathaway and company saluting Meryl Streep for her Kennedy Center Honor with the song "She's Me Pal." I love the video and performance, and if you missed it the first time around, here it is --
The thing is, I'm not posting this again just because I love it (which I do) and simply want to show it again. It's because I just discovered why they chose this song for the finale. I'd always thought it was simply some old lively, affectionate song they found which fit the moment so well. Wrong.
It turns out that Meryl Streep herself sang the song in Ironweed!
I've never seen the movie, though I've read the novel by William Kennedy it's based on. (In fact, I've read most of his "Albany" novels and highly recommend them. They're all pretty short and immaculate. I discovered his Pulitzer Prize-winning books late, because a few years back one of my good friends Phil Caruso married Kennedy's daughter Kathy. I had the opportunity to talk with him once, and it was a joy. But I digress...)
Like most of his novels, the story of Ironweed mixes despair and troubles with hope and dignity. And this "He's Me Pal" sequence has all of that.
It was fun to go back and watch the Kennedy Center footage and Meryl Streep's reaction now-knowing its history, but the film scene is just a gem all on its own.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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