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Readers' Ranking: Streep's Oscar Noms, #5-1

We started this blogging experiment by asking readers to rank all the Streep Oscar Nominated performances they'd seen. Then we shared reader stories of how you first discovered Streep. I tabulated all the results, weighting the ballots so the readers who had seen the most films counted for more. Now we've reached the tippity top of Streep performances!  For what it's worth, the top six (including Kramer Vs. Kramer) were the clear winners of your collective hierarchy and numbers two through four were closely bunched together in your estimation, each threatening to take spot #2 with each new ballot that arrived, though eventually they settled into their current positions. 

According to Film Experience Readers  (We didn't include The Iron Lady since it's brand new)

Music of Heart, Ironweed, One True Thing, French Lt's Woman, Deer Hunter, Doubt
Julie & Julia, Out of Africa, Postcards, Cry in the Dark, Kramer vs Kramer

05. Adaptation (2002)
Role & Balloting: Streep's terrifically clever performance as a heightened version of Susan Orlean, the real life writer who wrote the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief that Nicolas Cage's fictional screenwriter (and Charlie Kaufman stand-in) tries to adapt into a movie in this twisty comedy [whew], is the one many fans point to as "this is what she needs to do more of!" This role was in first place on only 3% of ballots, less than any of the other films in the top six, but it was on nearly every ballot (widely seen) and usually in the upper half.

Who Won the Oscar: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Meryl (Adaptation), Julianne Moore (The Hours), Kathy Bates (About Schmidt) and Queen Latifah (Chicago)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  It was Michelle Pfeiffer, SAG nominee, on the outside looking in for White Oleander. I still blame the Golden Globes for that one as they stalled her momentum by fawning over a miscast and dull Cameron Diaz for Gangs of New York

Reader Notes and Four More Greats after the jump...

Reader Note. Jamie writes...

Growing up I was aware of Streep only because my mother would watch Sophie's Choice, Silkwood, and Out of Africa on HBO.  I knew, to some extent, that she was considered a great actress, but at that point was too young to care.  The first movie I really remember seeing her in was She-Devil, and I thought she was hilarious... Then I saw Bridges of Madison County....and understood all the hoopla.
I am drawn to Adaptation in a lot of ways. Maybe because we are in Awards season, and everyone is saying she needs to be in a film with strong director, etc, and everyone seems to forget - she actually HAS done that, too. Meryl's performance in Adaptation made the public fall in love with her all over again. Having sent off the kids to college, she just seems freer in her work here.  For me, it was the beginning of a very clear choice of doing ANYTHING she might want to do, without worrying too much about schedules, or awards, or her overall career.  Though most people may not recognize it, Adaptation was a rebirth for her.  And it's something that continues to this day.


04. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Role & Balloting: While Streep has had as many love interests as anyone in the movies, this is one of only two of her key films that you might call "romantic epics" the other being Out of Africa. Lots of readers fell hopelessly in love with this lonely Italian housewife, Francesca Johnson. It was #1 on 13% of the ballots.

Who Won the Oscar: Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Meryl (Bridges), Sharon Stone (Casino), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) and Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  This was probably Jennifer Jason Leigh in Georgia who at the time seemed to be battling it out with Elisabeth Shue for that final slot. Tough to imagine that Shue's sensational performance (statue worthy) was not a sure thing at the time but that's the way it was playing out in a very strong Best Actress year. In the summer when Bridges opened, the commonly held belief was that Streep would finally win her third. But nobody watching then knew just how many great and popular performances were just around the corner. 

Reader Note. Ryan was actually the one that gave me the idea of pairing reader photos with Streep photos by sending this mashup in - thanks Ryan! He writes:

Before ever having the pleasure of viewing a single one of her Oscar-nominated performances in its entirety, I first encountered Meryl Streep around the age of ten after squirming by way onto the living room coach while my parents watched The River Wild. The moment I recall being most viscerally struck by was the over-the-shoulder look Streep gives Kevin Bacon when she realizes he’s blithely watching her skinny dip. Those deer-in-the headlight eyes, simultaneously flickering with a fraught realization that her dubious suspicions have been confirmed, left an indelible image in my mind.

And while I ranked her luminous work as The Bridges of Madison County’s Francesca Johnson in third place, it still deserves as much attention as her widely beloved and discussed back-to-back turns in Sophie's Choice and Silkwood. The chemistry between Eastwood and Streep is just smoldering and it’s probably my favorite of her adopted accents ever (I just love the way she goes ‘Big, mean yellow dog’ when giving Clint directions)."


03. Silkwood (1983)
Role & Balloting: Hot on the heels of the Oscar win for Sophie's Choice, Streep did an about face with a remarkably dissimilar character playing the true story of Karen Silkwood, a woman who fought against shady dealings at the nuclear power plant she worked at. This was the only performance outside of Sophie's Choice that had zero last place votes and despite being missing from 18% of the ballots it won 15% of first place votes on the ballots that included it, the second highest number of first place finishes. It's the one Meryl performance I'd most recommend to younger readers given that it's underseen today and holds the distinction of being not just one of Streep's best performances but easily one of her greatest films. Bonus points: it began her fruitful film collaboration with Mike Nichols which led to Postcards and Angels in America, too.

Who Won the Oscar: Shirley Maclaine, Terms of Endearment
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment), Meryl (Silkwood), Julie Walters (Educating Rita) and Jane Alexander (Testament)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  I've always wondered if this wasn't Bonnie Bedelia in Heart Like a Wheel?

Reader Notes. Adela writes:

I like to think that Silkwood is one of Meryl's roles where she's closest to her real personality. And the scene on the porch with Cher  is my favorite in her filmography."

Nick, who has written wonderful Meryl pieces, considers it her best work and he says:

I picked this performance because it's the perfect melding of all the 360º technique people love (or don't) in Streep and the lived-in, regular-gal spontaneity that many people wish she got to demonstrate more often - except in interviews, where she often brims with it.  She is completely uncondescending to everything about Karen that a lot of movies and performers would implicitly condescend to, even while lionizing her courage - "Can you believe this woman, in this part of the country, with this mess of a personal life and this haircut was actually capable of such bravery and insight and heroism?  I mean, seriously, this woman is from Oklahoma!"  She's both hugely likable and a little frustrating, and I think she's got more interesting and plausible dynamics with Russell, Cher, and her co-workers than she did with Kline and MacNicol - she's unambiguously the star and yet very much part of an ensemble. (I love her scenes on the floor of the plant, with David Strathairn and the other wage-slaves.)  You end the movie furious at how she was treated, inspired by what she did, and also somewhat suspicious that if you spent time with her in real life, you'd occasionally get a little fed up with her."

02. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Role & Balloting: "GIRD YOUR LOINS!" This is the one that won Meryl a whole new rabid legion of younger fans to go along with all her aging devotees. You have this film to thank for all the subsequent leading roles since they don't generally hand those roles to 60something women. This performance had half as many first place finishes as Silkwood or Bridges but was the most widely seen of all 16 performances and was generally high up on the ballots.

Who Won the Oscar: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: what does it even matter? Mirren was hundreds of miles ahead of the competition which was so strange for such an incredibly vibrant field. But maybe it landed like so: Meryl (Prada), Penelope Cruz (Volver), Kate Winslet (Little Children) and Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  The Oscar nominees were like a brick wall all throughout precursor season so whoever was sixth was a distant finishers. I'm guessing it was Maggie Gyllenhaal's electric work in Sherrybaby.

Reader Note. Murtada writes:

Prada is what made me rediscover Meryl. The performance was so brilliant and funny that I went back and appreciated other movies. Plus the movie is so entertaining and bears multiple visits. My fave of her recent performances though is The Hours [Not Nominated]. She was so open, and available emotionally with no pretense or vanity. When she breaks down in the kitchen I just wanted to crawl into the screen, quietly lie next to her and give her the biggest hug. And the speech she gives in bed about how happiness is always remembered not lived is my fave movie quote of all time."


01. Sophie's Choice (1982)
Role & Balloting: Sophie Zawistowski. Her name is hard to say but she is easy to remember. Meryl's role as a haunted concentration camp survivor who'd very much like to forget was the one that vaulted her into the pantheon and probably the one that started all the Greatest Living Actress talk which completely stuck once she followed it up with so many different accents and characters. The reader ranking wasn't even a contest. This was #1 on 43% of the ballots. 

Who Won the Oscar: Meryl Streep (2ND WIN!), Sophie's Choice
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Common wisdom has it that Jessica Lange (Frances) would've won the Oscar in any other year and that's probably true. Frances was Maximum Baitiness but Sophie was Sophie. After Lange, Debra Winger (Officer and a Gentleman) who famously quipped that even she voted for Meryl, comeback queen Julie Andrews (Victor/Victoria), and Sissy Spacek (Missing).
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  Maybe Diane Keaton in Shoot the Moon? I wasn't yet paying attention. Anyone have a different idea?

Reader Notes. Beau writes:

I grew up in a house where movies were for entertainment only.  When I began renting her films and learning about her career film became more than just entertainment.  Sophie's Choice I remember watching when I was 15.  I was at Video Shack in my hometown and my mother and I were looking for movies to rent for the weekend.  I found the Sophie's Choice vhs with the cover that had Meryl Streep looking beautiful and Kevin Kline gently kissing her cheek and Oscar almost as big as the title and it was the movie I wanted to see.  My mother asked me three different times if I was sure it was the movie I wanted because she had heard that it was a sad movie, but I would not be dissuaded.  It broke my heart and even to this day gives me goosebumps."
Hope you enjoyed this EXTENSIVE Streep countdown!
Are you happy with the way the numbers shook out? Feel free to share any thoughts this brings up in the comments or what you still hope to see Streep play in a movie someday. 



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Reader Comments (91)

As an "aging devotee", I thank you for this series :)

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Amazing! Thanks for such a wonderful post. I kept saying "I agree!" to all of the reader comments.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTaylorRansom

LOVED this countdown. I really need to go watch Bridges of Madison County.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

I still just cannot get over her being nominated for 'The Devil Wears Prada' in the lead category. That was absolutely a supporting role and it just infuriates me every time I see it mentioned. I loved the performance, but that little bit of category fraud irritates me.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNIck

This has been such a fun series to read! Well done!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrewB

Speaking of the Pfeiffer snub, I would've preferred if White Oleander was a mini-series. The movie left out the best character...the fabulous hooker, Olivia Johnstone. Nevertheless, Ingrid is one of the most incredible characters ever.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

i'm glad Adaptation scored so high.... i'd probably say this is my favorite (oscar-nominated) Streep performance.
"You're shinier than any ant, darlin."
"That 's the sweetest thing anyone has EVER said to me."

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteris that so wrong?


February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Prada being number two makes me angry.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter//3|RT


NO WAY in 1996 was the 6th Best Actress slot anyone else's than NICOLE KIDMAN in TO DIE FOR!!!! Jennifer Jason Leigh in GEORGIA didn't come close!!!

shame on you nat :)

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid


NO WAY in 1996 was the 6th Best Actress slot anyone else's than NICOLE KIDMAN in TO DIE FOR!!!! Jennifer Jason Leigh in GEORGIA didn't come close!!!

shame on you nat :)

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I remember in Siskel & Ebert's annual Memo to the Academy that year they thought the Emma Thompson best actress nomination for Sense & Sensibility should have gone to Nicole Kidman in To Die For. I think she won the Golden Globe that year too?

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I didn't participate in the poll as I have seen far too little of Meryl's nominated work, but I deeply appreciate all the time everyone clearly put into this, especially (obviously) Nathaniel!

As for what I have seen, I am deeply enamored of her performance in Adaptation. I don't think she has ever been so loose as she was in that film. The dial tone scene is so freaking genius that I almost can't believe it exists. It was her unfortunate luck that Catherine Zeta-Jones went for Supporting instead of Lead (it's a role that can really go either way) that year. That said, the only performance of hers that I would have Oscared her for since her 80s heyday is The Devil Wears Prada. Just an incredible comedic performance, and far better than any biopic mimicry by anyone, for my money. Although I must say, 2006 was a pretty good year.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

David, that's correct - Nicole did win the Globe that year, and she said in interviews that people were telling her at the time she was a "sure thing" for an Oscar nod for that film.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I am so glad that "Prada" ranked so high amongst readers, as it is indeed one of THE best comedic performances of the last...I dunno...decade or so. However, this wonderful series has reminded me of how much of her Oscar-nominated work I haven't seen. I should really get on that.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

This was fascinating. I wish I had thought to send in my votes, too, but I definitely have some more movies of hers to catch up on.

Thanks for all your hard work on this, Nathaniel!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

such a fantastic enjoyable piece - this is why I come here every day - thanks so much!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

Nice to see the love for Adaptation. I can remember being almost shocked at loose and easy Streep was in the part, and it's not an easy part. Her performance has to shift just as much as the movie does, and she nails everything from the sadness and longing in the beginning, the orchid laced humor in the middle, to finally "wanting to be a baby" in the end. I won't complain too much about Zeta-Jones winning (she defined "best in show" in a Best Picture winner everyone at least likes), but I think Streep wins it in any other year that decade, except maybe against Mo'Nique.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Yay! I didn't participate but I'm glad Sophie's Choice is ranked first!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbuttface

David-I gotta side with Nat here. While I'd personally pick Kidman over JJL in that year, the snub the previous year plus the strong support for Georgia (Winningham getting in) makes me think she had the edge for sixth place.

I loved these articles as well, not just because Meryl is always worth obsessing over, but also because sixth place at the Oscars is perhaps my favorite unsolved mystery (screw the Pyramids and Stonehenge-I just want to know which actor has placed sixth place the most times at the Oscars).

I'd totally agree on Pfeiffer, JJL (as stated above), Gyllenhaal (though that year was so lock-step that I'd have believed any number of suggestions for sixth place-one could even make the case for Beyonce-the point is no one was really close), and Keaton. Bonnie Bedelia probably was as well, though I suspect that Streisand had her supporters for Yentl.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

After the Oscars I think I am going to begin a Meryl Marathon. Starting with "Julia," and also including her 3 TV roles, "Holocaust," "...First Do No Harm," and "Angels in America."

This was great fun.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Thanks Nathaniel! I have loved reading these...

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

The devil wears Prada seems a bit high at number 2 though!

So, Nathaniel, when will you post your rankings????

Also it must be said if I was on a deserted island I would also have to bring Death Becomes Her, Angels in America, Mamma Mia, The River Wild, and The Hours!!!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Talk about category fraud, what about Viola Davis this year in The Help! She is clearly in a supporting role, part of a very good ensemble.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

And to Nathaniel, for putting this together, a big thank you. I enjoyed participating (even though I didn't get a mention) and reading your analysis. Great fun! Yeah, and when will you post your faves in order? I can't wait.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I'd like Streep to play a totally unsympathetic character. She went there slightly with Plenty, A Cry in THe Dark and She-Devil. Here is my fantasy : an aging former mob moll who is now a vicious contract killer out to kill her former boss. Get Martin McDonagh to write and direct, Morgan Freeman to play the mob boss and Joel Edgerton & Dominic Cooper to play his henchmen who are chasing her. Josepg Gordon Levitt to play her long lost son. She gets to curse and swear &kill mercilessly in long elaborate action scenes and burn. I even have a title "Killing Sophie".

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMurtada

Meryl was on NPR today saying how, for different reasons, straight guys always cite either The Deer Hunter or The Devil Wears Prada as their favorites among her movies. Terry Gross asked which roles women cite as their favorites. Meryl's answer: "Oh, you know - they love everything!"

Adorable. The low-ish ranking of The Deer Hunter surprised me, but the top 6 are what I would have guessed, and in about the same order. I think Sharon Stone's the one who barely squeaked into Best Actress over Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh, though. Agreed on everything else.

Thanks for compiling and sharing all this! I think I might be an "aging devotee," too, and proud of it. See you at the AARP, Nathaniel and Peggy Sue! We'll collect our checks and watch Ironweed together.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

P.S. In the same interview, Meryl quoted something David Lynch said once, which further proves she's not uninterested in those demanding, eccentric auteurs she rarely seems to work with. We'll clear that hurdle yet.

P.P.S. Thanks for the link and the quote! x.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

everyone -- i assure you any "snubs" were unintentional. I was just dealing with a lot of email and my folders are in dissaray!

February 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

This was terrific fun to both participate in and read. And while the order didn't match my order 100%, it came fairly close (yay for my top 2 being the readers' top 2 as well!), and I'd say the order is a very fair ranking of her nominations. Great job everyone, and to Nathaniel for doing all the work!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Murtada: If August: Osage County is made after all and Streep is in it, you will see Meryl in a really unsympathetic role, and it will get automatic Oscar traction!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Thank you so much for this list!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Z

I knew Prada would be top 5, but I'm surprised it made to the #2 spot.

I also think that Kidman was #6 in '95, and my guesstimate ranking of the four losing nominees would be Meryl (Bridges), Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) and Sharon Stone (Casino). Stone fought hard for that nomination but I don't think she came anywhere near the win.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

@Nathaniel this was such a great read and thanks I feel like I haven't seen enough of Meryl's work and now I want to watch all the nominated performances back to back (even Music Of The Heart)

@Nick - the idea of Meryl in a David Lynch film is so appealing. He needs to stop making music and get financing for a new film asap

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

I was about 15 when I first saw "Sophie's Choice" in 1984. I knew who Meryl was and what her significance to the film industry was at this point (she had won 2 Oscars and was starting to be considered one of the greats), but I really couldn't quite identify her and her screen roles (despite having seen a few of her great performances - guess I was just too young at that point). Then, we suddenly had one of those free Showtime subscription weekends where they gave you a free showing of all their best stuff in the hope that you would subscribe to their cable network to see real films in all their real glory. My parents had friends over on a Friday night at the same time they were showing "Sophie's Choice" and because I had briefly seen her in "The French Lieutenant's Woman" before (and totally didn't understand it at that age), I still thought I wanted to watch "Sophie's Choice" because of that film. As my parents were talking to their friends in the other room, I laid on the floor of my parent's room watching the free version of "Sophie's Choice" on Showtime on the tv in my parent's bedroom. All I can remember is laying on shag carpeting with my face down in the rug sobbing. When my father finally came into the room and saw me and made me get off the floor, there was a circle of wetness that extended at least 3 feet. That will always be the highest level of acting I have ever seen or will ever consider. There are a few performances (like Ellen Burstin in "Requiem For A Dream", Bjork in "Dancer In The Dark" and Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Maria Full Of Grace") that will make me want to believe there are other actresses out there that have that talent, but no one has ever moved me like that performance and that movie.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTallsonofagun

This was awesome. You should do a series like this for Kate Winslet!!!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Oh dear only three of her nominated turns that I haven't seen and two are in the top 5, Bridges of Madison County and Adaptation. The other is A Cry in the Dark. I better get crackin'. I did just catch up on Heartburn which was pretty much a mess but Meryl was very good in it and Plenty, interesting but I actually was more struck by Tracey Ullman's work than Meryl but that might have just been the novelty of seeing her in a serious part.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Adam -- but there's so few Kate Winslet's in comparison ;) maybe bette davis? or hepburn? hmmmm.

February 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

If Meryl wants to keep working with female filmmakers, Miranda July would be my first choice.

PS: Loved this project!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Nathaniel it would be great to see a poll on both Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn's nominated performances. Just slightly below them there's Geraldine Page with 8 then Jane Fonda, Ingrid Bergman and Greer Garson with seven each that would be a fun exercise too.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Joel6 -- my fear is that not enough readers will have seen them. Although maybe if we built up to it? with lots of warning.

February 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Adaptation was Streep's mimicry of an actress who picks complicated roles in exciting films.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

Nathaniel I can see your point, I'd have to still catch three of Geraldine Page's films and that could take time since they are the more obscure of her titles. But either to my credit or shame, not sure which, I have seen all the other ladies nominated works. I'm probably in the minority on that.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Hayden -- lol. so mean.

James -- even trying to imagine that blows my mind.

joel6 -- i think she's really interesting in Plenty which i wrote up here.

Rami & Everyone -- thanks for enjoying. it was a lot of work.

February 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathan don't limit this activity to just nominated performances. Meryl has the most and will forever have the most so limiting hers to what is nominated is fine. What about the others who are less than 5? I say it should be about an actress' career best or little seen interesting work.

Do one on Pfeiffer and watch our love pour over. Next you can follow her up with Lange. I know you don't like her much but she's so much fun to watch go through the motions. Her choices as an actor are the kind that would be discouraged at drama school which makes her so badass and rebellious.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter//3|RT

Regarding the possible 6th Place finisher for 1983, I'm going to agree with the poster who suggested Streisand. Her performance in Yentl was a high mark in Streisand's career, but it was overshadowed by the negative press she attracted for having the nerve to do more than simply star. The buzz around the movie was all about her chutzpah in choosing to direct, produce and co-write the screenplay, as well as her tampering with the source material (Isaac Bashevis Singer Bash-ed her in a big way). The film has two awkward moments (Mandy Patinkin ridiculously overacting when he learns the big reveal and Barbra's choice to end the movie with a boat scene reminiscent of the climax to Funny Girl) but they speak more to Barbra's status as a novice director than to her performance. Her performance was spectacular and will certainly stand the test of time better than Jane Alexander's work in Testament. She really should have been nominated.

Speaking of Streisand and Streep...NPR aired a segment in which Streep acknowledged Streisand's influence. The link appears following the portions of the partial transcript I've pasted in below.

On imitating a voice being like singing along to a record

"That's my way in, the very beginning, how to enter it. Very quickly in the process, I don't think of voice as being separate from the way you hold your head or the way you sit or the way you put on lipstick. It's all a piece of a person, and it's all driven by conviction. All the physical manifestations — you need your way in. When I was a kid — 16, 17 — I'd come home from high school, and my dad collected all of Barbra Streisand's records. She probably had three records out and she was 21. And I knew every single song, every breath, every elision, every swell. And I sang along to it. But for me, it was a way for me to get out the feeling in the song, and the feelings in high school that ... I had no other way of expressing."

On studying opera as a teenager

"I was 13. I didn't like opera. Ew. I liked cheerleading and boys — that was what I was interested in, and Barbra Streisand, The Beatles and Bob Dylan

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavide

It's Zawistowska, not Zawistowski - which is a male surname, sometimes used by women of Polish origin who do not really identify themselves as Poles /Clementine Kruczyński, for instance/, which is not the case in "Sophie's Choice".
I was shocked by Meryl's inability at Globes to pronounce Wasikowska, which is also a Polish surname and sounds very similar...

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHowler

Absolutely loved this series, thanks for doing it.
Great picks!
Fingers crossed for Oscar #3.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I love this. I'm only 18, so I admit I haven't seen most of her nominated performances, but this really really makes me want to watch all of these films. She is simply magical.

I'm one of those people that is also sad that she wasn't nominated for The Hours. My favorite movie quote of all time I believe is "I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then."

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Joel6: It is indeed to your credit to have seen all those films! Actually, I myself have seen all nominated female performances (leading and supporting) in Oscar history, with the exception of Betty Compson's in The Barker (1928) and Gloria Swanson's in The Trespasser (1928), On the other hand, I have seen all male performances except for three. In all, it's 1570 performances out of 1575!
Let me tell you it's been the ride of my life! I've been working towards this for nearly 40 years and I am very proud.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos
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