On Sunday at the 84th Academy Awards, Meryl Streep went home with a golden Oscar for ‘Best Actress’ for her work in ‘Iron Lady’. Many fans say, “It’s about time!”
My first experience with Streep was when I saw ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ in 2006. Streep played Miranda Priestly, a deliciously evil and narcissistic boss. She dominated the film and I was hooked. Another more recent performance of hers I’m in love with is her portrayal of Julia Child in 2009′s ‘Julie and Julia’. I was enraptured by her heartwarming portrayal of much-loved cooking afficianado Julia Child and was impressed that this was the same woman who played the hard-core boss in ‘Prada’ — clearly, Streep is no one-trick pony.
Of course, Streep has been acting and winning awards long before my first impression of her in 2006. Streep’s first encounter with stardom occured in the 1971 stage production ‘The Playboy of Seville’. She was 22 at the time. She’s been winning awards, nominations, and a wide fan base ever since. However, for someone with a total of 17 Academy Award nominations and only two wins (the last of which was 30 years ago), she has been coming in second for far too long.
Happily, 2012 was her year. Due to her recent portrayal of complicated and charismatic former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, she was always a favorite to win. In ‘Iron Lady,’ she gives a poignant performance showing both strength and sadness, politics and emotion — it was hard to imagine that this woman would leave the Academy Awards ceremony empty-handed. Which isn’t to say her competition wasn’t stiff. Also in her category were Glenn Close (‘Albert Nobbs’), Viola Davis (‘The Help’), Rooney Mara (‘The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo’), and Michelle Williams (‘My Week With Marilyn’) — all very talented women. However, not unlike the real Iron Lady, Streep managed to stick out as someone extraordinary. Congratulations for a well-deserved and long-awaited Oscar!