Here's a piece of trivia that even people who are clueless about the Oscars can recite: Meryl Streep is the most nominated actor of all time. Sometimes those same people will say she's won the most Oscars but you can't know everything if you don't pay attention. But, any way you come at it, her record is astounding (18 noms / 3 wins)
Today I'm having fun repurposing her bitchy dialogue from August: Osage County and pretending its mockery of her fellow nominees and their (comparatively) puny Oscar histories.
You ever been married nominated before?
...More than once?
Amy: Five times !!!
Cate: I used to know the w... six?
Sandra: twice, both times against you, don't you remember?
[Laughing] Should pretty well have it down by now, then."
Will anyone ever catch up to Meryl's record?
It seems impossible. At least in our lifetimes. In addition to being the most acclaimed living actor she's also one of the most prolific with three more movies arriving this year (Into the Woods, The Homesman, and The Giver). Jack Nicholson (12/3) was once neck-and-neck with her Oscar record but petered out with About Schmidt (2002) which was exactly parallel to Meryl's spectacular late-career renaissance which began with The Hours and Adaptation, which eventually restored her to a mainstream popularity she hadn't enjoyed since the early 1980s. Jack has since retired. Streep's nearest working rivals in terms of pure numbers will never catch up. They are: Al Pacino (8/1) last nominated in 1992, Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert DeNiro (all 7/2) who were last nominated in 1986, 1997 and 2012 respectively, and Judi Dench (7/1) nominated again this year but also retiring. It's very rare to win 7 nominations or more as these people have done. Only 19 actors in the history of the cinema have managed it and they tend to be ultra-iconic figures: Newman, Brando, Hepburn, Davis, Nicholson... that type.
Of the working actors with 6 nominations (which include Streep's two truest contemporaries Jessica Lange and Glenn Close), only Cate Blanchett and maybe Kate Winslet, if she gets her career back on track, look like threats to the records of the upper echelons. But not, we must admit, to Streep's. [Aside: I suspect you're dying to talk about Amy Adams' alarming rise up the charts (5/0), don't. Let's table that discussion for the moment - I promise, we'll get to it!]
Soon you'll be gone, never to return."
Don't start with that!