Sunday, November 30, 2014

Twice a Best Actress: Meryl Streep


Although Katharine Hepburn might officially have more statues, there is no question that the Academy's favorite performer is Meryl Streep. With her current three wins (Best Supporting Actress for 1979's Kramer Vs. Kramer and her two Best Actress wins for 1982's Sophie's Choice and 2011's The Iron Lady) there is little doubt that she will add a fourth (and perhaps even a fifth) eventually. Some are even predicting that the next win could come this year already for her work in the musical Into the Woods. Her current 18 nominations (Supporting nods for The Deer Hunter and Adaptation and Lead nominations for The French Lieutenant's Woman, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Ironweed, A Cry in the Dark, Postcards from the Edge, The Bridges of Madison County, One True Thing, Music of the Heart, The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Julie & Julia, and last year's August: Osage County), makes her the most nominated actor in the history of the awards (and she broke that record 5 nominations ago). It seems a reasonable assumption that more nominations will continue as Streep is only 65 and works continuously. I think that her nomination total (wherever it ends up) will remain untouched by any other performer and her Oscar legacy is unquestionably secured for the history books. But of all the chances the Academy had to actually honor Streep with the win, were the performances she won for actually deserving? For Twice a Best Actress from Fisti at A Fistful of Films, we looked at the two lead performances that won her the golden guy and determined whether Streep's wins accurately account for the monumental actress she is.

Meryl Streep

Best Actress 1982


Julie Andrews Victor/Victoria
Jessica Lange Frances*
Sissy Spacek Missing
Meryl Streep Sophie's Choice
Debra Winger An Officer and a Gentleman

My thoughts on Streep as Sophie Zawistowska in Sophie's Choice: "And Streep, despite the film's fascination with her secret, trying to make her seem as mysterious as possible, never succumbs to easy answers..." (Click here to read the complete write-up.) A-

Best Actress 2011


Glenn Close Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis The Help*
Rooney Mara The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams My Week With Marilyn

My thoughts on Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady: "While her performance as Margaret Thatcher is a masterclass in technique and mimicry, the film itself does her no favors..." (Click here for the complete write-up) B

*My choices for Best Actress. I think Meryl is deserving of the win for "Sophie's Choice", but in a slight victory, I would give the win to Lange in her career-best performance. Also, I would've give the win to Meryl the very next year for 1983's "Silkwood" so she would still be a multiple winner...

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