Stephanie Merry

Stephanie Merry covers movies and pop culture for the Washington Post. A graduate of the poetry program at the University of Virginia, she received a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.


Articles by Stephanie Merry


HIDDEN FIGURES stars on how working at NASA in the 1960s is a little like Hollywood — interview by Stephanie Merry

“Any upward movement for one of us is upward movement for all,” Octavia Spencer said. “If we don’t get there together, we don’t get there.” The spirit of teamwork also shows up in the plot of their movie, Hidden Figures. During the space race, NASA’s Langley Research Center employed black female mathematicians to calculate, among other things, launch and landing for the country’s first astronauts. After all, John Glenn didn’t make it into space alone, and one person who helped was Katherine Johnson, played by Henson. Spencer and Monáe play two other real-life math virtuosos, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Read more>>

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Three powerful movies this year reflect Virginia’s troubled racial history — Stephanie Merry comments

Loving shows Virginia at its most romantic and picturesque. Toward the beginning of the drama, a man takes his pregnant wife-to-be to an empty field and tells her in a slow drawl, “I’m going to build you a house right here.” The couple stand on a patchy, tree-lined stretch of grass, the rhythmic buzzing of cicadas pulsing around them. Low-hanging clouds pass languidly overhead, and the grass flutters in the breeze; humidity practically radiates off the screen. Read more>>

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How LA LA LAND almost didn’t get made — Stephanie Merry comments

For a creative industry, Hollywood doesn’t exactly put creativity on a pedestal. Movies that aren’t reminiscent of other movies — or plays or books or comics — don’t usually get made, which is why for every imaginative film from a dreamer like Wes Anderson, Charlie Kaufman or Spike Jonze, there are dozens of reboots, sequels, remakes and origin stories. So of course “La La Land” almost didn’t make it to the big screen. The musical, which expands to Washington and other cities Friday, is one of the most celebrated movies of the year and a shoo-in for a best-picture nomination come Oscar time, but it had one huge strike against it: originality. Read more>>

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