Oscar Buzz: Meryl Streep and 'The Iron Lady'
Meryl Streep is the most renowned actress in American films. For over 30 years she has been a major star with a staggering number of Awards.
•2 Academy Awards and an incredible 16 nominations
•7 Golden Glove Awards and 25 nominations
•2 Emmy Awards and 3 nominations
While Wikipedia is not a fool-proof information source, the site does hold 12 pages of Streep's various awards and nominations. No other actress in American film history has a resume this impressive. (Kate Hepburn does hold the record for actual Oscar wins with 4 Best Actress Awards, but Streep may even surpass this record.) Streep recently won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress in her portrayal of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, which opens in Los Angeles and New York today. It was a much-deserved win.
Streep is stupendous in this British bio pic. She so completely disappears into the character that you feel like you are watching a documentary on the fiery conservative who is still the only woman to ever become Prime Minister in our mother country. Directed by Phyllida Law, who also helmed Streep's popular Mama Mia a few years back, The Iron Lady is practically a one woman show. Adding to the performance is Jim Broadbent, who wittily plays Thatcher's loving husband.
The Iron Lady starts with the older, slightly demented Margaret Thatcher, and flashes back and forth from her very early years (played by another actress) to her fiery years as the head of Great Britain during some of the most tumultuous years in history. Gripped performances abound, and my only complaint about the film is that there is too much footage of the elderly Thatcher and not enough of her during the Prime Minister years.
For years, Streep's critics have carped at her performances and her various accents, as if it was somehow creepy that she can play so many roles. This is nonsense. Streep will once again be Oscar nominated and I think she will finally win. Last year she was upset by Sandra Bullock, but this time she seems like a sure bet. Consider that bio pics—especially of famous Brits— always seem Oscar bound; Helen Mirren and Colin Firth have both won their awards playing English royalty. Plus, with all of Streep's nominations it will be exactly 30 years come February 2012 since she actually won an Academy Award. Add in her magnificent performance, and her time is certainly due.