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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 18, 2010 at 11:53 AM

“You Don’t Know Me” — and Meryl Streep

Sometimes, movies and life intertwine. Last night, killing time before a movie screening (“Nanny McPhee Returns”; very sweet), I wandered into a downtown store where for some reason a young man was on a small platform singing “You Don’t Know Me” into a microphone, with a piano accompaniment coming from a speaker. I walked through the store, enjoying the music, and when I returned to the stage I was surprised to see that the singer wasn’t there any more, but the song continued. I looked around the store — no sign of the singer. Was he wandering around with the microphone, serenading the dressing rooms? Was he just a random lip-syncher who got bored? Or did I make him up — was he just a movie in my head?
Anyway, the whole thing made me think of Meryl Streep, who sings “You Don’t Know Me” (a Ray Charles song — maybe it’s in “Ray” as well; I don’t remember) in “Postcard from the Edge” in a soulful, lived-in way that makes you fall in love with her, if you hadn’t already. (Look how she seems a little lost at first — “afraid and shy,” like the lyrics — and then finds a home in the song.) Here’s the song; it makes for a lovely midday break.

(Love how Shirley MacLaine is coaching her from the audience — and then, if you remember the movie, immediately upstages her with “I’m Still Here.” But it’s a magic Meryl moment, one of so many.)

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