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Sunday
Nov132011

Naked Gold Man: Roles For Which Meryl Streep Was Not Nominated

For this week's gold man column, we're skipping the general overview and getting really specific. Who doesn't enjoy a good zoom in on Meryl Streep? The Iron Lady, her Margaret Thatcher biopic performances, begins screening very soon -- they moved the release date back but not the screenings. So we need to discuss this before it does and the focus shifts from groundless speculation to case evidence.

Every time I've floated the notion that Meryl Streep cannot be an Iron Lock for a Best Actress nomination since her film has not been seen, people object. "But Meryl is ALWAYS nominated," sayeth everyone. Not so, not so. While it's true that The World's Greatest Actress™ seems as much a can't miss prospect in Best Actress as she did in the 80s what with nominations for Prada, Doubt and Julia fresh in our minds, she has missed the shortlist. Yes, even THE MOST NOMINATED is not always nominated. Some of those roles even looked good on paper and in some of them she was marvelous onscreen. If there'd been Oscar blogs back in in the 80s and 90s, for example, pundits would've leaned on her whilst predicting each and every year with as much lazy force as voters do when balloting. There is no such thing as someone who is Oscar-nominated for everything they've ever done -- unless they only made one film or their name is Stephen Daldry (three-for-three thus far in Best Director). Even James Dean, who famously received two post-humous Oscar nominations, was only nominated for 66% of his three iconic film roles...

...yeah, yeah. true, true. okay, okay...

You can't be nominated in the same acting category twice in one year so theoretically Dean could have been nominated for Rebel Without a Cause if it hadn't been for East of Eden. This is an important point which we will discuss in the following "snub" list. 

25 Streep Roles That Weren't Oscar Nominated

Meryl's entrance into the cinema she would soon reign. Julia (1977)

1977 Julia
"Anne Marie" is really just a cameo (two scenes) but it's magically fitting that this then unknown actress's first screen role was opposite two acting legends: Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave (a probable Best Supporting Actress this year as she is quite sensational in Coriolanus). For most people the only way is down from there but for Meryl she's all, like, 'hey shove over. I'm here!' If she felt intimidated it doesn't remotely show in her haughty, funny, scene-stealing bit. But only important actors get nominated for cameos, even cameos this juicy, and Meryl was not yet a star. [More on Meryl's debut]

1978 The Deer Hunter -1st nomination

1979 The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Manhattan
This was the year of Kramer vs Kramer (her first win, following her first nom for The Deer Hunter in '78) so Academy voters couldn't have nominated her politico's mistress "Karen Traynor" or her angry lesbian ex-wife "Jill" in Woody Allen's other 70s masterpiece. Though these roles undoubtedly helped her win (note that the critics awards she won that year include all three) they wouldn't have won her nominations in a theoretical Kramer absence given the Oscar reception of Tynan (zero noms) and her internal competition in Manhattan. [More on this her year of actressy ascendance]

1979 Kramer vs. Kramer -2nd nom/1st win
1981 The French Lieutenant's Woman - 3rd nom

1982 Still of the Night  
This noirish femme fatale role arrived two weeks before the Sophie's Choice juggernaut (her second Oscar win) so technically she couldn't have been nominated for it unless they demoted her to "supporting" which they didn't. (The actress who got the 'demotion so we can double dip' you was Jessica Lange for Tootsie, who went on to win supporting while losing lead to Meryl.)  Though this noir may have added to surface cries of "Meryl can do anything!" Meryl herself didn't think so; according to some reports she wasn't particularly thrilled with her own work in it.

1982 Sophie's Choice -4th nom/2nd win
1983 Silkwood -5th nom

1984 Falling in Love
Meryl's work as "Molly Gilmore" a married woman who falls for a fellow commuter (her Deer Hunter co-star DeNiro) is actually rather touching. But it arrived fast on the heels of five shape-shifting legend-making iconic roles. This normal contemporary woman probably felt underwhelming to voters. Something "Magic Meryl" could probably do in her sleep and why not take a wee break from the exhaustingly perfect new legend? Trivia Note: We can't prove it but we believe any American actress not playing a farm wife that year was disqualified in a special one-year-only AMPAS ruling.  That's the only feasible explanation for the psychotic snubbing of Katheen Turner in Romancing the Stone.

1985-2009 including the 3 most interesting case studies in When Meryl is Not Nominated AFTER THE JUMP.

1985 Plenty
MOST INTERESTING SNUB #1
In popular hindsight imagination "Susan Traherne" her crazy-ass resistance fighter and bored socialite fell at the hands of "Isak Dinesen" in Out of Africa (actors can't get two nominations in the same category in any film year).  But would she have been nominated in the absence of Africa? We're going to guess a firm NO despite the enormous baitiness of the role, which features an accent, nervous breakdowns, unhappy marriages, fascinating individual scene work and lots of star glamour. All that yet the film was cooly received, Susan is a tough character to "like" (which worries some pundits about Charlize Theron & Elizabeth Olsen's Oscar chances this year) and Tracey Ullman hogged Plenty's best in show notices with her lively supporting turn. Though eligible for a Globe that year (they are allowed to double-nominate you), the HFPA passed on Meryl. It's important to note that they genuflect to her even more often than AMPAS does.  Though eligible for a BAFTA, Meryl was not nominated and Ullman was. [more on Streep in Plenty]

1985 Out of Africa -6th nom

1986 Heartburn
In this prestige biographic comedy based on Nora Ephron's best-seller she was essentially playing the screenwriter (as Nora hilariously noted at a later Meryl tribute). But despite the A list crew (Mike Nichols directing, Jack Nicholson as co-star) the film was not well received. It is another reminder that films that lean comedic have a tougher road to awards glory. Even the Golden Globes, who will nominated Meryl for virtually anything, ignored it.

1987 Ironweed -7th nom
1988 A Cry in the Dark -8th nom
 

1989 She-Devil
When Meryl first made the switch to comedy in 1989 -- she'd stay there for awhile -- there was a surprising amount of resistance and lots of 'her career is over!' shortsighted pot-shot taking. It's no coincidence that the backlash happened just as she was turning 40 (actresses have since extended their communal shelf-life a bit, thank the cinematic gods). If you were movie-aware in the early 90s you might even remember that there was a sort of schadenfreude glee in watching her mightiness "fall".

 It was an odd shaky moment in her career which we wrote about in detail here. Neverthless she was Golden Globe nominated for her broad performance as a bitchy romance novelist. But still, if your "rough" decade, is a decade in which you still get 4 Oscar nominations (Postcards from the Edge, The Bridges of Madison County, One True Thing and Music of the Heart), you have little to complain about.

1990 Postcards from the Edge -9th nom

1991 Defending Your Life
An atypical unchallenging role for Meryl as she was shucking the accents and tearjerkers for light laughs. In this afterlife comedy she was essentially playing The Girl for writer/director/star Albert Brooks (presumably a Best Supporting Actor shortlister this year).  Defending Your Life has its devotees but it didn't make any sort of dent in 1991. And this was never going to be an Oscar role as she was playing an average contemporary woman.

1992 Death Becomes Her
"I would like to talk about... Madeline Ashton!!!" Streep's role as a vain primadonna actress in this comedy classic was not as well loved when it premiered as it is today, 20 years on. All three central performances were inspired lunacy (wouldn't you love to see Bruce, Goldie & Meryl reunited?) but even in an arguably weak year for Best Actress, Oscar wasn't going near slapsticky comedy. The weirdest thing about this movie's reception at the time was that it seems, in retrospect, that it must have been a Golden Globe Comedy/Musical powerhouse. Nope. Meryl received the film's lone nomination and given the cold shoulder, that must have just been a default nod for their favorite woman. They couldn't double dip for the box set "Goldie & Meryl"? [Nathaniel's love for this movie & Kurt's love for this movie.] 

1993 The House of the Spirits
This is the most glaringly obvious example of a particular kind of Oscar trajectory "looks good on paper... didn't work at all onscreen" that you can find in Meryl's history. The prestigious period-piece best-seller adaptation, reteamed the popular French Lieutenant's Woman stars (Jeremy & Meryl) and brought together Oscar's two favorite 80s ladies (Glenn & Meryl) and added two superhot "it" stars of the moment (Antonio Banderas  & Winona Ryder) but it bombed with audiences and critics and awards season voters.

1994 The River Wild
MOST INTERESTING SNUB #2
The first half of the nineties were an experimental time for Meryl as she tried various genres on for size. This minor hit in which she played athletic mom "Gail Hartman" fending off a psycho during a rafting trip with her family won her Golden Globe attention but the noisy talk that a surprise Oscar nomination would follow -- 1994 was a very weird Best Actress year --didn't come to pass. Vivid portraits of somewhat ordinary contemporary women are Oscar's one true blind spot with Meryl. Perhaps it earned back their good will though since much Oscar hoopla for Bridges of Madison County followed.  [More on The River Wild]

1995 The Bridges of Madison County -10th nom

1996 Before and After and Marvin's Room
Two more dramas that looked more likely for attention before people saw the final results. In Before and After, she played a mother whose son was accused of murder (a topic that's popular this year with We Need To Talk About Kevin and Beatiful Boy) but the film flopped. The family drama Marvin's Room was more successful critically but after Meryl's default Golden Globe nomination, attention swiftly shifted to Diane Keaton when the Oscar ballot results were read out. 

1998 One True Thing -11th nom

1998 Dancing at Lughnasa
For this drama based on an acclaimed play, Meryl tried on an Irish accent to add to her collection. But the female-centric film only received minor attention and its ensemble nature didn't make a case for more Meryl glory and her co-stars Kathy Burke and Brid Brennan stole the show according to some. She wouldn't have been nominated for this in the absence of One True Thing

1999 Music of the Heart - 12th nom

 2002 The Hours
For those playing along in 2002 the five women who were nominated for Best Leading Actress: Diane Lane -Unfaithful, Julianne Moore -Far From Heaven, Salma Hayek -Frida, Renée Zellweger -Chicago, and winner Nicole Kidman -The Hours were just not budging. Not for indie darling Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary, not for French icon Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher, not even for Oscar's favorite Leading Lady Meryl. Meryl had to make do with Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. The Hours is proof positive that if it's a strong Best Actress year, anyone -- even Meryl Streep -- can be shoved aside. 

2002 Adaptation -13th nom 
finally passing Kate Hepburn's & Jack Nicholson's then shared #1 nomination record

2004 The Manchurian Candidate and Lemony Snicket
MOST INTERESTING SNUB #3
Her Lemony Snicket role as "Aunt Jospephine" was the kind of broad comedy Meryl clearly enjoys on a lark from time to time but it was never going to be an awards situation. Her role as "Senator Shaw" was another story altogether. Angela Lansbury gave one of the Best Supporting Actress performances of all time in the 1962 Manchurian Candidate but even with that giant monkey on her back, many thought Meryl's not-so-nuanced showboating as the ultimate Monster Mom would win her Oscar attention. It didn't work out. The Academy stuck by Lansbury and made a good call in the process. Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations happened, though, so you know it was a near miss.

2005 Prime
This dramedy about a woman (Uma Thurman) seeing a therapist (Meryl Streep) who turns out to the be the mother of her boyfriend, was not well received. Even some of her diehard fans were less impressed than usual. And again, when Meryl goes somewhat ordinary or contemporary she doesn't win as much acclaim.

2006 A Prairie Home Companion
Robert Altman's swan song featured a bevy of fine actors happily or unhappily chattering away on top of each other backstage and onstage but it was Meryl & Lily as the "Johnson Sisters" who rose above the general din. This is actually one of my personal favorite Streep performances. It's beautifully nuanced, idiosyncratic and, my god, her singing voice. The film was mostly warmly received, though there was little in the way of feverish support. Only the NSFC singled Meryl out, giving her a shared Best Supporting Actress prize with her work in The Devil Wears Prada. [More on this beautiful performance.]

2006 The Devil Wears Prada -14th nom

2007 Lions for Lambs, Rendition, Dark Matter, and Evening
Following her blockbuster Prada success Meryl was everywhere with a slew of supporting roles but none of the films were successes... at least not in the traditional sense. Robert Redford's earnest all-star political drama Lions for Lambs seemed, on paper, to be the most Oscar likely but from this foursome crop zero Oscar nominations were harvested.

2008 Mamma Mia!
This musical comedy based on the songs of ABBA featured Meryl as an exasperated once promiscuous mom whose daughter wonders who her faither is. It became Meryl's biggest global hit, netted her a nomination at the Golden Globes and yet more feverish fandom.  But would she have been nominated in the absence of Doubt? No. The performance was even broader than the divisive one she gave in Doubt and the lack of critical respect for the film would've torpedoed awards dreams. Her performance was so hammy (delightfully so fans could argue) that French and Saunders even spoofed her SHEER ACTING!!!

2008 Doubt -15th nom
2009 Julie & Julia - 16th nom 

2009 It's Complicated
Meryl continues joyfully on her comedic path in this romantic comedy which netted her her one millionth Golden Globe nomination. Again Streep was playing a somewhat ordinary contemporary woman. Naturally the simultaneous biopic role which required an adopted voice was the place Oscar would rather be.

So what have we learned (factually) with this overview? That Meryl can be snubbed even when she has traction (The Hours and The Manchurian Candidate) though it doesn't happen often. That Meryl is nominated for 39% of her screen roles (excluding voice work which no one gets nominated for) a number we can all agree is astounding. 

The rest is theorizing. Looking this over and remembering the ebb and flow of public feeling, I begin to wonder if Meryl's frequent nominations aren't in fact hurting her chances at a win. Though momentum is often a key to winning an Oscar, it's dark side is overexposure which can wear good will down. Consider how much goodwill she had going into the 1995 and 2006 races (during both years people allowed themselves to believe she would finally win her third until a more overdue actress arrived to steal the thunder) and in both cases she'd been absent from the race for a few years. Maybe what Meryl needs is a couple of snubs to eradicate the "Meryl is over nominated" negativity and add to the "overdue for a third statue!" positivity? 

In this week's Oscar Prediction Chart Updates we've added the Streep Equivalency Factor for each category... who just can't stop being nominated? Click away and find out!

PICTURE  | DIRECTOR  | ACTOR  |  ACTRESS   |  SUPP ACTOR |  SUPP ACTRESS  | ANIMATED & DOCUMENTARIESFOREIGN  | SCREENPLAY | VISUAL | AURAL 

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Reader Comments (60)

The River Wild is not a snub. The movie isn't very entertaining at all. I remember watching the trailer for it in front of Speed.

The ordinary woman thing the Academy has against Streep is the same for me as well. Regular people performances require rawness not over thoughtness. Meryl Streep isn't a raw actress.

For the first time I saw White Palace (1990) last week and Sarandon is unlike any American actress I can think of in terms of raw adult sex appeal that isn't forced or thought up--she's playing working class, over worked, and under sexed. I can imagine French actresses playing the part but the only American who can do it is Sarandon. Holly Hunter is old enough to play those parts now but I think she's had her face pulled which ruins the whole weathered, older woman, Sarandon staple of her late 80s, early 90s prime.

Back to Streep I do adore Silkwood and Ironweed and those were regular women but the situations were so extreme but she nailed them. There are many roles in her filmography that feel like they could be better played with another actress.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter//3rtful

I love Meryl Streep. I think Death Becomes Her is Streep's best comic attack.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPao

Glenn Close or Annette Benning finally winning would eradicate my negativity to a third statue more than a couple of snubs.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Looooove this post! For me "The Hours" is the one snub that still hurts even today.

"The Iron Lady" will have its first big NY screening on Tuesday, so we should know soon enough if it's gonna join this list.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoy

a towering performance that sets a new benchmark in acting

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2061106/An-insult-No-shows-Maggie-mighty-Left-wing-star-Meryl-Streep-tells-Baz-Bamigboye-reveres-Iron-Lady.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Oh, I love Heartburn! Kevin Spacey has a memorable cameo

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I'm having such a hard time picturing a scenario where Meryl Streep doesn't get nominated for this (no matter how bad) and Leo is.

That said, I'm going to be angry if both of them end up winning the Oscar with a lesser performance.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

And Leo is for 'J. Edgar', well understood.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

At this stage, I'm starting to feel that Glenn Close will get the cold shoulder and sit this race out.

Streep and Williams look very solid even if their performances are not very good. Viola Davis hit it out of the park (I still smile when I think back when 'The Help' premiered that we feared she wouldn't be nominated and should be demoted to supporting; and now even Oprah campaigns for the film from what I've heard yesterday) so she's in it to win.

And you know that there'll always be a spot for the 'hot young thing' (hello Elizabeth Olsen or Rooney Mara!) and Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron and Kirsten Dunst are all racing for that last spot.

In the end, I guess she'll be safe but... I can't see critics' giving her prizes, I fear the BFCA will ignore her and I don't know about the Globes... (especially because Charlize may have the Comedy Globe locked - that is if they don't decide «The Help» is a comedy).

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Joy- do tell. Is this a press screening?

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

of course Streep will be nominated. don't be ridiculous!

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

'The River Wild' also got a Best Actress nomination at the first SAG Awards, but at the time I assumed they just wanted an excuse to have Meryl part of their new awards and would have nominated her for anything. So I was surprised to see Streep and Kevin Bacon both got Golden Globe nominations for the film!

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Although it's a good analysis, I think she's as close as a lock as anyone could be. The times she didn't get nominated were because she was starring in comedies the Academy would never go for, appeared in films that weren't successful critically and commercially or was nominated for something else that year. Given that The Iron Lady gets decent reviews I can't see her miss.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Great round-up! I still need to see some of these!
I think the Manchurian Candidate snub is a crime, but at least the Oscar went to Cate Blanchett.
Also really like her perf in 'Lughnasa', but the film itself is just okay. (Not better work than in 'One True Thing' mind you.)

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Phil - I assume it is because it's a big screening room often used for film premiere. Hopefully I'll see Meryl there.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoy

I was really impressed by this summary, Nathaniel.

I don't love Streep's comic performances for some reason except for her amazing turn in Adaptation, which I thought she deserved an Oscar for. I do think she should get another Oscar but who knows when she'll get it. And when is Kate Winslet going to get back into the action?

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

joy -- but the first screening won't tell us. it will take more. we need consensus to know how something is going to do I think.

brandz -- but the point is that it's easy to say that but it ignores the fact that she CAN theoretically miss. especially in a strong best actress year. The odds are in her favor of course but you can't be a lock when no one has seen the film.

everyone -- that said, i do know one person who has seen it (test screening) and they didn't like it very much but liked Streep a lot so that could easily be a common reaction and she could still make it.

November 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I feel Streep would have been nominated for The Hours... but do you remember that her name was accidentally left off the ballots?

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrick

But we know already that Meryl doesn't get nodded for everything that she does? Why was this a thing to begin with? No one in their right mind was talking her up for "Prime" or "Rendition." We could read the tea leaves about "The Manchurian Candidate," and she was always sixth for "The Hours." At least she rightfully got in for "Adaptation." I wasn't around for the earlier stuff, and there were no bloggers around to tell us what to think and not think, but I have to believe that there was some discernment in the air about what Meryl would and wouldn't realistically be nominated for. Frankly, until the fatigue with her sets in, I think she'll be good to go with whatever bait she puts out there, including "The Iron Lady." And the irony of all that is that she probably won't WIN until people get tired of her, miss her, welcome her back in a "comeback" role (even better if this comeback is in a BP nominee/winner), and presto, she wins her third Oscar. But they keep nominating her, she's never missed really, adding to her legend status and our fanboy obsessions. Streep is such an exhausting topic. I'm exhausted after reading all of this, and the time it must have taken you to write all this.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

I think a lot of what you suggest in this article is a bit silly. I mean, look at her campaign for The Hours. They intentionally pushed her leading so as to not reduce her chances of a nomination. and then, knowing Kidman had all the traction in lead, basically stopped pushing her altogether. And 2002 wasn't a strong year for Lead Actress either...her snub can be accounted for by 1) the campaign and 2) her coming out of the weakest part of her career.

Let's all be serious: the role is baity, it's being pushed big time, buzz surrounds it massively and it's Meryl. I can see why most people are quickly rejecting the assertion she isn't close to a lock for a nomination.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Love this article!

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Um, what about A Prairie Home Companion?

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam Marziale

Streep has never missed a nomination for playing a real person.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake

I think it's kinda silly to call people silly for saying she gets nominated for every role. Obviously she doesn't, but with how often she's nominated in comparison to other actors, she may as well be considered that way.

I think her nod for The Iron Lady is a sure thing. I know, I know, nothing is certain, but I mean...it's Meryl. Even if the movie gets panned, she'll likely give a good performance (or at least one people like - biopic, when do people not like mimicry?).

Random thought: I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I kinda preferred her performance in It's Complicated to Julie & Julia.

And I echo the "Um, what about A Prairie Home Companion?" sentiment.

I like this article though, interesting take. :)

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Sam - Good call on "A Prairie Home Companion"! I totally forgot about that one and I looooved her and the film!

Nat - You're right, we probably need a few weeks after the first screening to have a solid idea. I just checked that it'll be around wednesday afternoon and many NBR members will be there, it'll be interesting to hear the chatter right after.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoy

It's not silly to point out the glaringly obvious. Give us a little credit. I think we have enough sense to know that Streep isn't nominated for everything she does. It's the bait that people focus on (for good reason), not the duds. And I have no problems in saying that I think she's in for "The Iron Lady."

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKBD

The Iron Lady UK Trailer arrives..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDiCFY2zsfc

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternowus

I think people are misunderstanding me. I am not saying she's NOT going to get nominated. I'm saying "can we wait and see the movie before we decided she's more of a lock than people who have already passed every test like Viola Davis ;) "

i get exhausted by all the lock talk bfore Meryl even films one frame of a film.

KBD -- i guarantee you people will assume she's a lock for her next film too even though she's playing an ordinary woman in a contemporary drama. People just always assume about Streep -- yes, they have reason to.

GERRY -- i think hindsight has shifted people's thinkings. Some (though not all) of these roles listed people DID think were going to lead to oscar noms. Hindsight always makes everythign seem obvious.

November 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Philip & Sam -- OMG. total oopsie. I fixed. That's even one of my favorite performances by her.

November 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Streep has never missed a nomination for playing a real person.

good point Jake.

I suppose only the Nora Ephron performance is a gray area there... but perhaps that's negated by the other gray aera in Postcards from the Edge which did get nominated.

November 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

She will win the Oscar. It's only Viola and the campaign of Oprah that threatens her. However, Meryl plays a real person, is the 100% lead (Viola is co-lead to Emma Stone), will have more screentime as a result plus she's Meryl Streep. That late release could be a blessing in disguise. If she's so fantastic then her buzz will move circles around the others. Remember, Sandra Bullock made a late entry, too and her buzz took over Meryl's summer flick (though Julie and Julia was less of a success than The Help, I admit).

That being said, I'm rooting for Viola (well, in my heart, Great Glenn, but that's not gonna happen :-( )

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdinasztie

Meryl Streep wants to lose to Viola Davis if she has to lose this year. Oprah isn't that powerful within the Academy or Hollywood. Sure she backed trash like Crash (2005)--but its eventual win had nothing to do with her. Oprah's power in the biz is overrated. She had real power in television media and the world of book publishing. It ends and begins there.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter//3rtful

It's not really hindsight in some of those cases. If you really believed that Meryl was going to be nominated for some of those marginal films back then, then there's no real accounting for that. I'm not pretending that I'm some master predictions expert or anything either, but sometimes a spade is just a spade.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

THE IRON LADY trailer is IN... marvelous...

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdaniel

Viola is gonna win not because of Oprah, but because the movie is a major adult drama box-office hit. You just can't beat 170 million dollars.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

why do your predictions NOT include Streep when we haven't seen Charlize Theron's performance yet, who happens to be included in your predictions?

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I just saw the trailer and I had the direct opposite reaction to Daniel. Bad, bad, bad.
Meryl overacts and not in a good way.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLara

THE TRAILER IS AMAZING, I'M POSITIVE MERYL IS THE FRONT RUNNER FOR THE OSCAR SHE IS JUST FANTASTIC. AND I CAN'T WAIT NOW TO SEE THE MOVIE.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarl

This may be a blasphemy here, surrounded by Meryl-ians, but is there a list complementary to this one, the (gasp) undeserved nominations?

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I am sold on some of the performance i see in the trailer mainly after she is elected but the first moments amde me think of mrs doubtfire,meryl is hamming away here.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Iggy! You're absolutely right!
I love Meryl but I do also think that some of her nominated performances were undeserved, most of all Music of the heart, One true thing and, yes, Doubt.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

Iggy - I wouldn't mind that, either. I know Nat is not saying she deserved to be nominated every time (he's looking at perception versus reality) but in all honesty? I'm a little exhausted by all the Meryl Meryl Meryl posts. I've just kind of lost all interest in the subject.

Sure she is a great actress - when she choses to be. She can also be hammy and ham-handed. And she is NOT the greatest living film actress. (That title would belong to Vanessa Redgrave, IMO.)

Lara - Ditto. I'm sure she will be nominated just judging by the trailer; it is so within her wheelhouse but also the Academy's (and Jim Broadbent is her co-star which I'm guessing can't hurt.) But I watched the trailer with a growing sense of distaste. I am the only one here who remembers how harmful so many of her policies were? I know it's only a trailer, but it gave off that "she was misunderstood! She was a true patriot! Love her, admire her!" Vibe. Yuck. I don't mind re-evaluating the real life behind the public persona, but I distrust the revisionist feel to the thing.

And that last line in the trailer: "Let us join the ladies." Yes, she aligned herself with men, it's how she came to power. Much like Elizabeth I - the notion of "I may have the body of a woman but the will of a man." Dismissing half the human race wasn't cute then and it's not endearing (to me) now.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Iggy, I believe Nat in the past has written about those Streep nominated performances which were undeserving or where other actresses' performances deserved better Academy recognition. I think, like Nat, I'm a huge Streep fan, but that doesn't mean I don't see the blunders and overreactions to her acting career. Even Streep herself has acknowledged and implied how overrated she gets.

I'm still on the fence about her Iron Lady performance. I saw the trailer and while it's so difficult to make a sensible opinion out of a 2min. mish-mash of a movie, there's something about the movie's aura that doesn't inspire me confidence. She nails the voice, absolutely, but I fear the direction might be all over the place and trying to accommodate different genres. We'll see. I'm totally open to be wrong.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJones

brandz -- YOUNG ADULT has been screening for a couple of weeks. I've yet to hear one single thing negative about Charlize Theron's performance. Everyone loves it (though some doubt she can be nominated as the character is unlikable and harsh)

November 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Meryl Streep doesn't deserve a third Oscar only for the fact she chose to do a second movie with the same director of Mamma Mia. I love her, but she must be punished for her awful taste for directors.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I am the only one here who remembers how harmful so many of her policies were?

No, you're not. To me, the conservative tandem Reagan - Thatcher was the germ of today's neocon policies, or lack of them that have financial markets ruling entire countries and changing governments these days.

I know it's only a trailer, but it gave off that "she was misunderstood! She was a true patriot! Love her, admire her!" Vibe. Yuck. I don't mind re-evaluating the real life behind the public persona, but I distrust the revisionist feel to the thing.

Amen to that. I can't stand revisionist movies either, particulary when the people involved and their surroundings are still alive. They're clearly "history will forgive me" kind of shit. Let history happen first, and then we'll see. Even having Streep's face makes her look beautiful when the true Thatcher, as self-assertive as I'm sure she was, walked a bit hunchbacked.

Just for the record, I like Meryl Streep myself and when she's great she's just jawdropping.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Meryl is the most talented actress to ever have graced the screen. If she isn't nominated for the Iron Lady I'll lose my faith in humanity.

Peace, Love and Meryl.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMERYL LOVE

Meryl was totally worthy for The River Wild...first of all, this movie holds up...it really is a great adventure thiriller...but there was a scene where Meryl has one of those Diane Lane-Unfaithful moments where she literally conveys a thousand emotions in one brief scene/monologue...she seamlessly worries, cries, laughs, and then some, effortlessly...pitch perfection.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

Oh, and A Prairie Home Companions was a snub as well...it's probably her most authentic filmed work in the last ten years...did not see any acting in that one...she's just free.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

trailer opinions nat.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermark
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