Written by Brionna Raum
Compiled by Brionnna Raum and Cameron Galvin
Well it’s officially OSCARS WEEK and we are getting all kinds of excited over here at festival headquarters. On today’s compilation of THE FIVE, we are giving some well-deserved attention to a woman who shattered the early expectations of her career, garnering 21 Oscar nominations over the stretch of her career, and winning not one, not two, but three Oscars for Best Actress. Yes, we are talking about the one and only, Meryl Streep. As a multi-faceted and ever growing actress, we believe Meryl Streep represents the kind of artistry and dedication to craft that the Academy Awards are meant to honor. So, without further ado, we present to you the top five Meryl Streep movies for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut: Silkwood (1983), The Iron Lady (2011), and A Cry in the Dark (1988).
5. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
In a role supposedly based on Vogue Magazine Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, Meryl Streep portrays the mysterious and decisive Miranda Priestly in David Frankel’s American comedy-drama The Devil Wears Prada. This role has become iconic for Streep in more ways than one, but one great aspect of her performance in this film is her ability to demonstrate the longevity of her career as a dynamic female actress. While it is common for men to receive sexy, powerful roles in the later years of their acting careers, it is unfortunately far less common for women to receive such roles. However, Meryl Streep successfully breaks the mold in that regard with her powerful performance in this film.
4. The Post (2017)
This more recent film from director-producer Steven Spielberg stars Meryl Streep as the first female publisher of a major american newspaper, and Tom Hanks as the Executive Editor of that newspaper, The Washington Post. The film follows their attempts to publish the Pentagon Papers, which were documents on the United States government’s involvement with the Vietnam War. The film received 6 nominations at the 75th Golden Globes, and Meryl was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. This film was significant in its ability to portray the responsibility of journalists to report the truth, but how that is often far easier said than done.
3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
With the performance that won her her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Meryl Streep plays Joanna Kramer in director Robert Benton’s family legal drama. This film addresses issues salient to the audience to which it was premiered, namely, rising American divorce rates, gender roles in the family, and the work-life balance. Meryl Streep reportedly insisted on portraying her character as more sensitive and vulnerable than she was written, which turned out in the end to be very crucial to the story. At the very early stages of her career, it was incredibly impressive that she won an Academy Award and she has continued to hone her craft since that time.
2. The Deer Hunter (1978)
Winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1979, director Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter tells the story of three Russian-American steelworkers who went through incredible experiences fighting in the Vietnam War. Perhaps the most iconic aspect of this film is it’s featuring of Russian Roulette in the story, which turned out to be very controversial after the film’s release. Meryl Streep plays Linda, the fiance of one of the steelworkers, and wrote much of the character into the story herself. For this performance she received the first of her 21 Academy Awards nominations.
1. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Topping our list today we have director Alan J. Pakula’s film Sophie’s Choice, starring Meryl Streep, with the performance that won her first Academy Award for Best Actress. Sophie’s Choice follows the story of Sophie, a Polish immigrant and holocaust survivor, living with her tempestuous lover Nathan and a young writer, Stingo. Throughout the film elements of Sophie’s past are revealed, and lovers’ issues arise. The part of Sophie was originally written for someone else, but Meryl was so determined to get the part that she pursued Pakula relentlessly. Sophie’s Choice is also a wonderful representation of Streep’s uncanny ability to master accents, as she maintains a polish accent throughout the film. While there’s no way to know how the film would have been different had Meryl not been cast as Sophie, we think it’s safe to say that her performance in this movie was phenomenal, and well deserving of the accolades it received.