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« 9 Days Til Oscar. Should 9 Times Nominated "12 Years" Worry? | Main | Celebrating Black History Month: A brief tour of African-American animation »
Friday
Feb212014

Red Carpet Lineup: All of Meryl Streep's Oscar Looks

a better photo of the Silkwood Oscar dressThis is the last Streep-centric post for this Oscar season (unless she does something crazy at the Oscars), promise!

I used to always make a point of saying that Meryl Streep gets nominated for 39% of her performances, having appeared in 46 features and being nominated 18 times. But in truth her record is better than that. Once you eliminate the performances that couldn't have been nominated her record is an even more incredible 53% (a good example is her leading role in Plenty released in 1985 since she was nominated for her leading role in Out of Africa and an actor may only have one nomination per category unlike behind-the-camera people who are allowed to double up). So, fact: as soon as she reports to work on each new film she is more likely to be nominated than not for whatever it is she is about to do.

Is this the best record ever? Among actors, yes (once you eliminate the people who only made a few films and died/quit). But, otherwise, nope. John Williams has the closest thing to infallibility since he's nominated for virtually everything he does but let's not get sidetracked. Let's look at Streep's past in gown form and her future in role form after the jump

All of Meryl's Oscar Nominated Looks 1978-2012
With thanks to Google Image Search and Simply Streep 

Meryl at the 51st, 52nd, 54th, 55th, and 56th Oscars

Meryl at the 58th, 60th, 61st, and 68th Oscars

I can't remember why she didn't attend the 1990 ceremony (spring 1991) but she gave birth to the youngest  of her four children (Louisa) that year so perhaps she was pregnant. Still, it's atypical of her to miss. 

Meryl at the 71st, 72nd, 75th, 79th, and 81st Oscars

Meryl at the 82nd, and 84th Oscars

Which were your favorites? What color do you think she'll wear exactly a week from now? She has a very narrow color palette on Oscar night as you can see from this handy guide above. 

How many more nominations do you think Streep has in her? She turns 65 this June. Streep can't be contained by anything as impotent as 'the normal rules' but nominations are seldom seen for senior citizen actresses. (Though of the dozen or so noms afforded them in Lead Actress, Judi Dench has three of them recently so maybe Streep shouldn't worry). There's a lot more senior citizen nominees among supporting actresses but Streep gets the most attention for her headline gigs. Given that Nicholson & Hepburn, the second most nominated actors of all time, have "only" 12 each - haha - how much further can she really go?

Streep gets long grey locks as The Chief Elder in "The Giver"And if you had to put money on it right now, do you think she gets her 19th nod for that vegetable-hoarding witch in Into the Woods (Christmas 2014), a supporting role as a woman who collects madwomen to take back to their homes in The Homesman (TBA, Hilary Swank is the title character and filming is complete), the chief elder in YA adaptation The Giver (Aug 2014) or her supporting role as a famous women's lib activist in Suffragette (TBA not yet filming) which should all be arriving between summer 2014 and Christmas 2015. Since her role in The Suffragette is small, and since Streep isn't one to knit at home, she has plenty of time to shove in a leading role for 2015. I'm holding you to your guesswork.

  

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Reader Comments (55)

How many more nominations? Honestly I'd say we're in for, minimum, 3-4 more nominations, mostly due to the fact that if a performer can get in for Doubt, they can get in for almost any kind of malformed, not quite worthy enough, performance so long as it's in a "prestigious" enough context. Too much beyond 21-22, though, is uncertain.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Great peace. The "Doubt" look is my favorite & think it's a very good performance!

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I couldn't find any full-length pictures of the Silkwood dress but I did find this video of her in color and it's pink! Silkwood's my favorite Meryl performance.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJA

No reason she couldn't see 5 more. Judi Dench received all of her 7 nominations after age 63. And, of course, she is peerless. Just can't handle all the snide remarks about her nominations for "Doubt," "Juie and Julia," and "The Iron Lady," all of for which she won numerous major critics awards prior to GG/SAG/OSCAR time. The more acclaim this woman gets, the more internet hissing we get. Glad none of it matters, as she is respected by critics and loved by her peers and the general public.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Can you believe you KNOW you're gonna win for Sophie's Choice when you go to the Oscars dressed like that?

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

My guess is that her total tally will be 21, with possibly another Oscar coming out of those other three noms. I think she will be sitting out of being nominated for a while after this year though, and that she will come back with renovated strength to deliver those last three punches. Interestingly, I have a feeling she's taking a lot of lighter and supporting roles in an effort to reduce her exposition. Maybe this is not true, but I sense that she's become acutely aware of the "Streep fatigue". She seems to mention this more frequently in interviews.

I have to admit it's pretty sad to think that we are entering the last phase of her career. But I hope it is long enough and filled with surprising and worthy performances. It should be.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Cry in the Dark and Bridges. I also like her the Ironweed blouse and the white dress of Julia.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I feel that I can reach her.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterS. Okonedo

I LOVE her A Cry in the Dark look. The hairstyle is totes Madeline Ashton.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZV

My favourite look of hers must be the Julie & Julia year. I wish there was a poll for this.
That, and then followed by her look for her Prada nom, because even though she got in many worst-dressed lists for it, it feels inspired to me. She looks like an exotic sensei master read to chop suey any adversary who dares to cross her.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJones

I gotta go classic and say her Deer Hunter look is my favorite. For modern Meryl, definitely Julie & Julia - she is a QUEEN.

Though I do love how she showed up for Iron Lady dressed like an Oscar. I laughed for days when I saw her on that red carpet that year.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

You informed us that she couldn't attend Bates' coronation under doctor's orders.

Her nomination count when all is said and done should remain in the thirties. Though she could rub it in and make it to forty plus one.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I think Meryl was quite pregnant when she picked up her Oscar for Sophie's Choice so it sort of explains the bedazzled potato sack look. Her hair and face look great though. Only the French Lieutenant's Woman dress is a monstrosity, with The Deerhunter in second place for fug (to my eyes), Iron Lady third. I don't think Meryl is much known for her fashion sense though and she shows up so often that she doesn't really need to make it "once in a lifetime" special.

Meryl will get another Oscar if/when she speaks multiple languages in a movie, or if she suddenly dies and has done anything Oscar worthy that year. :-)

She could get a nom for Into The Woods if it's clearly a supporting role.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Patryk: All those critics prizes for Doubt means is that a lot of critics are bleeping LAZY. And getting lazier. Which only ENCOURAGES the Academy's malaise. For example: We were THIS CLOSE to having a second year in a row where an entire category (this time Lead Actress) was all previous winners. Here's six Lead Actress performances from 2008, from unnominated performers, that are ALL better than Streep's in Doubt, just for arguments sake:

6. Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man (Yeah, the movie's ultimately way more about how charming RDJ can be, but she's STILL better than Streep in Doubt.)
5. Elizabeth Banks, Zack and Miri
4. Mila Kunis, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (these bottom three are all weaker than Streep's force of personality turn in Mamma Mia! (even though they're all also in stronger overall movies than that one (Pierce Brosnan's terrible singing voice is almost the least of that movie's problem spots)), but what'cha gonna do. Streep does what she wants.)
3. Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
2. Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey (The script is...gloopy, unstructured and semi-cliche, but you can tell both main performers are trying their darndest. Thompson is helped immensely by the fact that far more cliche's wind up on Hoffman's shoulders.)
1. Rebecca Hall, Vicky Christina Barcelona

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Well, given that in the past 8 years (I would say 10, but Prada was 2006 and Adaptation was '02, so...) she's managed to get five nominations, and she's got at least another ten years in her, I think she will easily see another three or four before she retires. Personally I'd like to see her win one more Supporting Oscar. That's a nice round tally, dontcha think? Two Lead, Two Supporting.

Oh, and my favorite Oscar dress is either The Iron Lady or Doubt. I kind of love that both times she won the Lead Oscar, she was wearing gold.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

She averages 4 nods per decade...why do I feel she'll match her 80s tally this decade. I say another 6-8 before she retires.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMB76

Oh I've been trying so hard to be good this year and not go all ballistic about Meryl but for f***'s sake, Volvagia - you start a list of actresses who gave better performances than Streep in DOUBT with Gwyneth Paltrow in IRON MAN?!?!?! Lol Lol Lol You're obviously going for humor here and certainly aren't serious. So I'll laugh right along with you - especially as I review the rest of your list! Ha, ha, ha - what a funny fellow you are!!!

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

I kind of dug the Kramer vs. Kramer bolero jacket look (Holy Mackerel!) but I do have a soft-spot for the Devil Wears Prada ensemble. Mostly because it was (in the words of Amber Waves) too many things. I almost feel like was making an ironic fashion statement, dressed in kind of a crazy black number that's cinched in weird places topped off with chunky statement jewelry...at a ceremony where she's nominated for playing a fashion maven. You can't even take in the 2006 look in one glance. It requires like 2 or 3 glances to really take in everything. It's sort of a less-assuming distant cousin to The Thing That Uma Wore (I think many will know what I'm talking about). It also makes me think of that great photo of her and Nicole AND Oprah AND Mary J. Blige having some kind of kiki in an after-party backbooth. I think Nick Davis said it best on one of his live-blogs--"Put pockets and a foot-wide belt on it, and Meryl WILL wear it."

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

The best dresses are imo A Cry in the Dark, Bridges and Adaptationm, but yeah, I also loved her golden dress for TIL. Dress Gold=get Gold!
The Prada "outfit" is just... well.... But there was simply no way she could even touch Helen Mirren that year, so.... she went like that. Or it's a sacastic statement meant opposite her fashionista character Miranda Priestly. I'd love that.
Meryl is just not a fashion doll. Although the best dress was the one in 2006, where she presented the honory Oscar to the great Robert Altman. Hilarious presentation together with Lily and that purple dress was so damn hot.
I think she'll pass the 20 of total noms and for #19 I'd bet on the feminist character. Even though it's just a small role, Meryl has never been snubbed for playing a real person.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

The Prada and Deer Hunter dresses are my favorites, but she's not a fashion plate, nor does she want to be.

As for her number of nominations, the sky's the limit. I doubt she'll stop at 3 or 4 more. The Giver is a Weinstein film, so you can count on her nomination.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I'm firmly in the category of enjoying Meryl's Prada look. That said, I also enjoyed That Thing That Uma Wore, though I recognize that I'm probably the only one out there.

Still, Meryl's best look was Doubt. Runners-up: Deer Hunter, Ironweed, Julie & Julia.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercash

A fashion icon The Streep is not! (Good to know she's bad at something.) Still, I think her last three dresses show she's getting a better hang out it. She looks gorgeous in the Deer Hunter look!

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Did you leave out the 2005 Oscars (when she presented to Robert Altman) and the 2012 Oscars (Daniel Day-Lewis) on purpose? I think those are the only two times she attended without being nominated.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I think the article's focused specifically on looks from years where she attended as a nominee. If we're expanding, I agree that she looked amazing (maybe the best she's ever looked at the Oscar) the year that she and Lily presented to Altman.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

Joe -- yes, these are just nomination ceremonies

cash - yes and yes and well yes. we are on the same page

Jones -- i think that's sad too for as much as I might feel the streep fatigue myself, i cherish her always. she is such a staple of moviegoing life. That said I wish Oscars were less generrous so that it could be more exciting when she's nominated for only the deserving stuff.

Volvagia -- the first half of your statement is totally true. Critics are getting MUCH lazier in the past decade. I should do a study on it because they use to actually try to be a counterbalancing force to the status quo as opposed to its paperboy... but you lose people with that list which is, frankly, insane. (I think it was the Kunis/Banks twofer that did it. that's just. whatever. they're fun sometimes but they are not in any way shape or form great actresses. Just solid players that sometimes make enjoyable movies. Anyway, I agree that Paltrow is really good in the Iron Man films, totally understanding the screwball tone of the romance, and the broad strokes of character for a movie that is not really about characterizations but that's an entirely different topic)

February 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

JA -- Thanks for that video. wish it was longer. and yes PINK

February 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

S. Okonedo -- keep plugging away!

February 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

She really killed it in that dress for The Iron Lady. Great post!

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

between 28-30 Total Nominations, she'll get in whenever she's in serious contention

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterali B

Read somewhere she had a difficult 4th pregnancy, so she was on bedrest. [which would explain her missing the 1991 ceremony]

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

My top 3 of her nominated looks would be 1. Deer Hunter 2. KvsK and 3. Julie & Julia (with the one for Iron Lady in #4)

But I really do think the dress she wore in 2006 deserves a special mention because she looked AMAZING: http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/fashion/lookbooks/meryl-streep/66.nocrop.w624.h746.jpg

And I've always believed she chooses not to show all her fashion potential on purpose because she just doesn't want to fall on the "fashionista" or "pretty face" label since she's said that can limit her as an actress and how people will perceive her in each new role, but in 2006 she really brought her A game and she looked stunning.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

billybil: I wound up going with "can't have been a nominated performer that year" (giving consideration of her actual competitors: Leo and Hathaway are UNQUESTIONABLY better and, no doubt, deserving of noms, Jolie is...worse (way worse), Winslet in The Reader is...better than Streep in Doubt, but I think Revolutionary Road holds up better as a film and performance for many reasons), as my field depth which discounts a few things I've seen. Also: Had a brain-fart and forgot Happy-Go-Lucky (somehow) wasn't nominated, but that's because I want to live in a world where Changeling's shameless (and underedited and pretty close to unwatchably repetitive) crying-fits don't equal nomination fodder. On further thought, Banks is off, Paltrow and Kunis switch fifth and sixth and the rest drop a slot to put Hawkins at top slot. New construction with my chosen rule:

6. Mila Kunis, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
5. Gwenyth Paltrow, Iron Man
4. Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
3. Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey
2. Rebecca Hall, Vicky Christina Barcelona
1. Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky (Was only NOT #1 the first time because...this shouldn't even BE my #1. Seriously, JOLIE's WEAK-ASS Changeling work getting in over her was a DISGUSTING reveal of their performance prejudices, especially since Hawkins WON the other globe and was probably the second most respected performance OF THAT SEASON aside from that. No, a crying celebrity (even if that crying celebrity's crying scene is underedited and she's doing it in the hammiest way possible) INSTANTLY takes precedence over a rare unabashed expression of positive emotions.)

How this would look, however, if I allowed other (unnominated) performances that I've seen from nominees in that year:

6. Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
5. Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Pretty much even with #6, but she's slightly subtler and, thus, harder)
4. Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey
3. Rebecca Hall, Vicky Christina Barcelona
2. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
1. Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I love the White dress from the Julie & Julia premiere.

I would love her to wear Red.http://cdn04.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/meryl-premiere/meryl-streep-mamma-mia-premiere-12.jpg
like that.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjazz

08 non nominated worthier than Doubt Keira in The Duchess,Kristin Scott Thomas Ive loved you so long & Julianne Moore Savage Grace,any of those over Streep and Winslet shoulda got it for rev rd/.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermrripley

You're all missing Swinton for Julia; the only comparable 2008 performance in terms of quality is from Hawkins, but of course the Academy forgot them both!

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The cerulean sash that Meryl is wearing in her Prada year is pretty obvious give-away that she was spoofing the fashionista character she played in the film. I have a harder time understanding the choices she's made in the other years. For a woman who is so beautiful and charismatic on the screen, her red carpet walks have always been less than compelling and often disappointing, if not cringe-inducing. She's been quoted as saying "For me, clothes are kind of character; I don't follow fashion or understand trends," which begs the question of what character she is trying to convey with some of those unflattering choices. Perhaps the character of someone who is trying to hide her own personality so that she can continue to project other characters on the screen? Or is she simply trying to keep the focus on her face as an ironic rebuke to Pauline Kael and her constant "she doesn't exist from the neck down" critiques? The truth is that, on screen, Meryl has worn some iconic fashion ensembles (the Out of Africa costumes and the Prada costumes in particular); why she can't manage equally high-water marks on her own time is puzzling.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavide

The Julie & Julia white dress. She has never looked better

Her look from Music of the heart, by the way a overhyped performance, Streep looks like she is on her way to a Kama Sutra seminar in New Delhi

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

My favorite look is Bridges, but I guess I didn't realize she had such a run of stunners post-Prada.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Suzanne -- I believe Julia had a 2009 release in America.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

she won both of her Lead Oscars in Golden Dresses, isn't that kind of amazing? :)

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

On her fashion: Well, I think it's certainly improved. Most of these dresses are embarrassing. I agree with others that Prada is very unique and cool. Certainly the most fun. Traditionally speaking, I think Doubt, Julie & Julia, and Iron Lady are her best. Julie & Julia might be her best. The hair really pushes the overall look over the edge. I also think she looks so fresh and cute and gorgeous and young for her first nomination. Aw. That hair! Makes me think of Manhattan - there's a popular gif on tumblr and I think it's when she first appears. Her film debut.

As for this year, maybe she'll wear pink? Who knows. Just a feeling I have.

In terms of her nominations, I think she'll end up around 25. I could see her winning another very soon for a supporting role. And then maybe even one more when she's older, lead or supporting. It'll be interesting to see. If she does pass suddenly I think she'll win no matter what it's for. I mean, assuming it's not really bad or a really small role. As long as it's decent I think she'll win.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I'm sorry my favorite Meryl Streep look was when she presented an Honorary Oscar to Robert Altman with Lily Tomlin. The Purple gown. beautiful, sexy.

http://www.mikenmolly.com/Images/2006%20Oscars/Meryl%20Streep.jpg

by a mile!

Though I do love her Iron Lady look too.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrew C

She looks stunning in the dress she wore to her "One True Thing" ceremony.

My favorite of her nominated perfs are "Silkwood," "Bridges," "Sophie's Choice," and "Adaptation." I think all four are in the same level of Streepificality!

I also love her un-nominated turns in "The Hours" and "Hope Springs." Love them just as much as the four above.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

a) Streep will break 20 but not 25.

b) Un-nominated Performances I prefer to Streep in 2008: Kristin Scott Thomas (I've Loved You So Long), Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky). Inez Efron (XXY), Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), Famke Janssen (Turn the River), Elsa Zylberstein (I've Loved You For So Long), Julianne Moore (Savage Grace)

c) I actually like most of her oscar looks.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Streep really does have a beautiful head of hair. I like her Iron Lady look best. It looks like she dressed for success that night. While she is a GREAT actress, she really has NO fashion sense whatsoever. I sometimes wonder if it's not intentional. She does not give one fuck, which is something else I really like about Streep. I remember one year at the Golden Globes she had this green and blue thingie on and it looked like a shower curtain.

I think she'll surpass 25 nominations and win at least two more times.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I loved Streep in Doubt and would have given her the win that year. I'm 100% behind her nom, SAG win and critics prize wins.

On her fashion choices, I believe I like her 2008 and 2009 looks best, but fashion is clearly not what she is about.

I expect her to achieve at least 5 more noms, possibly even a win, if she manages to snag a prestige part in her early/mid 80s, which will be roughly 20 years after her third Oscar.

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Yay, for Meryl award season coverage! I shall never grow tried. Her best Oscar look, I think, is the appropriately golden Oscar dress she wore whilst winning for THE IRON LADY (really like the DOUBT one though). Rooting for her again this year, although Blanchett will kill the Oscar like Jasmine does a Stoli martini.
-Oh, and I think (as another commenter states) that Streep didn't attend the POSTCARDS ceremony due to pregnancy. There is a video on YouTube of an ET clip where Streep thanks Reba McIntyre at the premiere for ONE TRUE THING for filling in and performing the song because she was too pregnant to attend the ceremony.
-also, Nathaniel, have you had a chance to read Karina Longworth's excellent book on Meryl?

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Her gowns for One True Thing, Doubt and The Iron Lady stand out for me. I didn't care for her getup when she was nodded for Prada- I was shocked she didn't try to emulate her character and truly show up looking like a prime diva.

STREEP'S BEST OSCAR WINNING PERFORMANCES:
1. Sophie's Choice, 1982
2. Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979
3. The Iron Lady, 2011

STREEP'S BEST OSCAR NOMINATED PERFORMANCES:
1. The Devil Wears Prada, 2006
2. A Cry in the Dark, 1988
3. One True Thing, 1998
4. Out of Africa, 1985
5. Silkwood, 1983
6. The Bridges of Madison County, 1995
7. The Deer Hunter, 1978
8. The French Lieutenant's Woman, 1981
9. Adaptation, 2002
10. Julie & Julia, 2009
11. Music of the Heart, 1999
12. Postcards from the Edge, 1990
13. Ironweed, 1987
14. Doubt, 2008

STREEP'S BEST OVERLOOKED PERFORMANCES
1. She-Devil, 1989
2. Marvin's Room, 1996
3. Death Becomes Her, 1992
4. The Hours, 2002
5. Defending Your Life, 1991
6. The Manchurian Candidate, 2004
7. The River Wild, 1994

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason Travis

I do like Streep as an actress but erhh....not her fashion sense. Certainly not. Thought she should have been nominated for Plenty and won for that. What a performance especially the way she unravelled in that room full of guests. As for future nominations, it doesn't bother me whether she wins or not. She's already in her twilight years of film-making so I tend to cherish her just like the way I value her peers (who unfortunately don't get the kind of roles she does...not her fault though).

February 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Stop this hatred, she was amazing in Doubt.
Maybe it's just the unsympathetic value in sister aloysius that just put off so many people here
And she win the SAG for it.
I think she will ar least be nominated two more times with one more win.

February 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

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