Previously on Streep Reader Rankings we covered The French Lieutenant's Woman, Music of the Heart, Doubt, The Deer Hunter, One True Thing, and Ironweed. Now we hit the top ten. Ten and Nine were a statistical tie, constantly trading dominance as I tallied the results of your ballots. Since both films were listed in last place on 7% of the ballots, I broke the tie by looking at first place votes. Only one of the two had any.
TOP TEN STREEP NOMINATED PERFORMANCES
According to The Film Experience Readers
10. Julie & Julia (2009)
Role & Balloting: Streep has played many biographical parts in her long career which accounts for some of her record-obliterating nomination haul (8 of her 17 nominations are for biographical roles and she is now 5 nominations beyond her nearest rival Jack Nicholson). This widely seen warm serio-comic interpretation of the famous chef Julia Child is the last film in the countdown without any #1 placements on reader ballots.
Who Won the Oscar: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Meryl (Julie & Julia), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?: One supposes the fifth slot was neck and neck between Mirren and Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria). There wasn't a ton of enthusiasm for either film though, since the top four candidates absorbed all the Oscar heat.
09. Out of Africa (1985)
Role & Balloting: Streep had another huge success with this romantic epic about the Danish author Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen). If Geraldine Page hadn't been so absurdly overdue (It was her 8th nomination which was at the time the longest stretch by any actor without ever having won the gold. Peter O'Toole now holds the record with 8 nominations without a win) the Best Actress race would've been between Whoopi and Streep both headlining very very big hits. (The Eighties were a different time with box office and moviegoing; people still flocked to prestige dramas in big numbers.)
Who Won the Oscar: Geraldine Page, The Trip To Bountiful
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple), Meryl (Out of Africa), Anne Bancroft (Agnes of God) and Jessica Lange (Sweet Dreams)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?: Cher was left on the outside looking in for Mask as the mother of a deformed boy. The snub even resulted in an Oscar night moment when Cher, clad in one of her typically outre outfits quipped:
As you can see, I did receive my Academy booklet on how to dress like a serious actress."
Reader Comment. Marcos writes:
I first noticed Streep in The Deer Hunter. I liked her a lot and was impressed, but I became utterly fascinated when I was able to realize the extent to which she immersed herself in roles that were so different. Choosing between Bridges and Out of Africa [for #1] was difficult. One of Streep's best scenes ever was her lover's funeral. She moves forward to grab a handful of earth to throw it on Robert Redford's grave. She moves ahead, but the camera stays still. She grabs some earth and extends her arm to throw it on his grave. Her hand starts shaking and, without releasing the earth, she brings it to her chest and walks away."