She’s played Julia Child and Margaret Thatcher, spoken with more dialects than nearly humanly imaginable, won three Academy Awards, and anchored the biggest hit of her career (Mamma Mia) at an age when most actresses are often considered to be long past their box office prime. That would be Meryl Streep, of course, and the first trailer for her new film, Ricki and the Flash, presents the performer with the most Oscar nominations in history (her tally stands at 19 nominations and counting) in a way we’ve never seen her before—as a rocker.
Written by Oscar-winning scribe Diablo Cody (Juno) and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), Ricki and the Flash tells the story of Ricki Rendazzo (Streep), a guitar-wielding rocker who long ago ran out on her family for rock-and-roll success. Ricki’s past comes back to the surface when her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline, who co-starred opposite Streep in the 1982 drama Sophie’s Choice, for which the actress took home an Academy Award) beckons her to help heal the wounds of their daughter—played by Mamie Gummer (Cake), Streep’s real-life daughter—following a break-up.
Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Audra McDonald (Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action reboot), Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect), and rocker Rick Springfield (as Streep’s love interest) co-star. Ricki and the Flash was inspired in part by Cody’s real life mother-in-law Terry, the lead singer of the Jersey Shore rock band Silk and Steel.
The trailer posits Streep front and center as a hard rocker grappling with the consequences of choosing rock and roll over motherhood and family. Yet it also reminds us that Streep, as a performer, has a formidable background in singing as well—the actress had memorable musical sequences in films such as Ironweed (1987), Postcards from the Edge (1990), and Death Becomes Her (1992), and headlined outright musicals including Mamma Mia (2008) and last year’s Into the Woods (for which she earned an Oscar nomination).
It’s premature to wonder where Ricki and the Flash will fall into the actress’s illustrious filmography, but we will find out when the film opens on August 7. Below is first trailer for the film.