American actress Meryl Streep, who has received 16 Oscar nominations and won two, is earning rave reviews for her role as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the film “Iron Lady” set to be released on Jan. 13. This week, The List looks at Miss Streep’s top 10 performances in film and television.
- 10. Silkwood (1983) — Miss Streep stars as the late Karen Silkwood, the blue-collar party girl turned activist. The film earned Miss. Streep her fifth Oscar nomination. Silkwood, in real life, died mysteriously before she could present evidence that her company, Kerr-McGee, was letting employees work in contaminated spaces.
- 9. The River Wild (1994) — In this scenically attractive suspense thriller, Miss Steep and her family face mortal peril on a white-water rafting vacation in Montana when they cross paths with Kevin Bacon and his cohorts as armed robbers on the run.
- 8. The Bridges Of Madison County (1995) — Director Clint Eastwood turned Robert James Waller’s syrupy, Hallmark-inspired best-seller into a quietly romantic tour de force. Miss Steep is a farm wife who ultimately chooses husband and family over photographer Eastwood after a four-day affair. It was her best performance in years and she earned her 10th Oscar nomination. Some saw the film as a celebration of adultery and betrayal.
- 7. A Cry in the Dark (1988) — The film chronicled the true case of a 9-week-old baby girl who disappeared from a camp-ground in Australia in 1980. Miss Streep plays the mother, Lindy Chamberlain, who is convicted of the murder of the child. Chamberlain claimed the child had been taken by a dingo. It was a powerful performance by Miss Streep and won her numerous awards and her eighth Oscar nomination. In June of 2008 it was ranked No. 9 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Courtroom Drama.” The popular phrase “The dingo ate my baby!” was never spoken in the film.
- 6. Out Of Africa (1985) — Miss Streep employs yet another accent, this time Danish, as she plays the stately and sensual author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen. This sweeping epic pushes all the right buttons and Miss Streep garnered her sixth Oscar nomination.
- 5. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) — Miss Streep leaves husband, played by Dustin Hoffman, and her son in search of self and self-esteem in this drama about husband-wife and parent-child relationships. She won her first Oscar in 1979, as best supporting actress, for the complex and critically acclaimed role.
- 4. The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981) — The opening shot from behind as Miss Streep turns around before the sea is glorious in this wind-tossed and doomed Victorian era romance also starring Jeremy Irons. She earned her third Oscar nomination.
- 3. The Deer Hunter (1978) — Miss Streep received her first Academy Award nomination for her 1978 portrayal of the long-suffering daughter and girlfriend in the gritty Vietnam-era drama “The Deer Hunter,” the first of several pairings with Robert De Niro.
- 2. Sophie’s Choice (1982) — This film is widely regarded as one of Meryl Streep’s finest performances. She plays a Polish Catholic Holocaust survivor based on William Styron’s best-selling novel. Her mastery of a Polish accent is brilliant and the role won her a best-actress prize at the Oscars.
- 1. Holocaust (1978) — This television mini-series in four parts introduced the wider world to Miss Streep. It was an amazing performance and her major breakout role. Miss Streep plays Inga Helms Weiss, a Christian woman married to a Jewish man during the Holocaust. Miss Streep’s sensitive and touching performance won an Emmy for Best Actress in Limited Series.
Compiled by John Haydon
Sources: Imdb.com, The Washington Times and Associated Press
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