Another year, another Academy Award nomination for Meryl Streep.
Her first win was in 1980 for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” and her second was three years later for “Sophie’s Choice.”
Streep didn’t win again until 2012 for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
Many would agree that she was snubbed in 2007 when she was nominated for her role in “The Devil Wears Prada,” but did not win.
Others might argue that she missed out on a deserving Oscar for her spot-on Julia Child impression in 2009’s “Julie & Julia.”
One thing is for sure: Meryl Streep continues to steal the hearts of her audience members for the simple reason that she disappears so flawlessly into her characters.
The core truth of an actor’s job is just that — to seamlessly become the role.
As viewers, we want to watch a story unfold. We want to see the characters themselves, not the actors portraying them.
This isn’t always easy.
There are some actors who have trouble transitioning into their characters to the point that we are hyper-aware we’re watching a celebrity. With Streep, that is never the case.
We are able to forget we are watching Meryl Streep, the actress, and to be swept away by her performances.
We can say this about any of her films. In “The Devil Wears Prada,” Streep’s rendition of fictional magazine editor Miranda Priestly is so detailed and nuanced.
We watch this movie over and over, not just because Adrian Grenier is hot, and not just for Emily Blunt’s eyeshadow, but because everything Streep does is fascinating.
Her iconic portrayal in the film can be captured in the infamous cerulean sweater scene.
From the inflection of her voice to her delicate body language, Streep is 100 percent immersed in the character, and she is so fun to watch.
Another reason to love Meryl Streep is that she tackles such a variety of roles.
You could never accuse anyone of type-casting her because she is able to play any part, no matter what the demands.
Even though some might have questioned her vocal abilities in “Mamma Mia!,” she was able to pull off the musical’s female lead with passion, vigor and vibrancy.
It almost didn’t matter if she hit a couple of wrong notes because we still believed her as this role.
With that said, any doubts that may have existed in 2008 over Streep’s singing have been completely obliterated with her recent role in “Into the Woods.”
Streep portrays The Witch, a role made famous on Broadway by Bernadette Peters. Peters is a stage legend, and she is absolutely worshipped in the theatre world.
Streep certainly had big shoes to fill. As The Witch, she was given some of the most challenging songs in the musical theatre repertoire.
The Witch’s swan song “Last Midnight” is known for its difficult rhythms, and it’s a number that calls for a powerful belt, one that would leave goosebumps on audience members’ arms.
To say Streep killed this song would be an understatement. She sounded incredible, and the special effects of the scene created a show-stopping moment for the actress.
Furthermore, Streep created a fresh character out of the role.
It’s easy to settle into the comfort of tradition when approaching a role that has been played many times before by other women. Instead of riding on the coattails of her predecessors, she made different choices and offered a new take on The Witch.
Streep has received a best supporting actress nomination for her role in “Into the Woods,” and she is facing some stiff competition.
Her fellow nominees are Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Laura Dern (“Wild”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) and Emma Stone (“Birman”), all of whom are stellar actresses and put on great performances in their respective works.
Considering all of her previous success, as well as the amount of incredible detail she has contributed to four decades worth of roles, Meryl Streep is overdue for some recognition on a larger scale.