A year after playing the delightfully fiendish Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Streep switched gears, trading fictional fashion wars for very real conflicts in the Middle East. In 2007, Streep took on the role of Janine Roth in “Lions for Lambs,” a war drama focusing on the United States military involvement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks.
“Lions for Lambs” has a unique structure, essentially telling one overarching story through three separate, yet interconnected substories. In one, Robert Redford, who also directed the film, plays a college professor telling one of his students, Todd Hayes (Andrew Garfield), about the choices two of his other students made. The second substory focuses on those two students, who enlisted to join America’s war in Afghanistan. Streep’s Roth, a liberal journalist, and Tom Cruise’s Senator Jasper Irving provide the plot for the film’s third substory, in which Roth faces a dilemma of professional ethics and moral responsibility.