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Entertainment Meryl Streep's 22 best performances

19:45  30 november  2020
19:45  30 november  2020 Source:   ew.com

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Meryl Streep finished her MFA from Yale in 1975 at the age of 26 (she paid her way through school by And despite all of Streep ’ s accolades, her performance of Stephen Sondheim’ s indelible songs isn’t 22 . Postcards From the Edge (1990; nominated for Best Actress, lost to Kathy Bates in Misery)

In the mood to watch the best Meryl Streep movies? We’ve ranked them for you here, from worst to best . This is more Jack Nicholson’ s movie than Streep ’ s , but it includes one of her strongest performances , even though her character isn’t particularly deep.

This article was written independently by Entertainment Weekly's editorial team and meets our editorial standards. HBO Max is a paid advertising partner in Fall 2020.

Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep posing for the camera: Rex/Shutterstock © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Rex/Shutterstock

Awards season? With Meryl Streep? Groundbreaking.

Would the run-up to the Oscars even exist without the three-time Academy Award-winning legend? It’s almost become a cliché in itself to champion the 71-year-old’s unparalleled, once-in-a-generation talents on the screen, but you don’t become an icon without the work to back it up. Here, EW has assembled the finest performances from the world’s greatest living actress, from the ingenue days of The Deer Hunter and The Seduction of Joe Tynan, through to her ongoing imperial phase in commercial hits (The Devil Wears Prada), prestige gems (Doubt), and even the messiest — yet nonetheless delectably juicy — bits in between (She-Devil). Before Streep sets sail for HBO Max in Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk, read on for a chronological, unranked compilation of the cinema deity’s best work to date.

See Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest in New Trailer for HBO Max's Let Them All Talk

  See Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest in New Trailer for HBO Max's Let Them All Talk Let Them All Talk will debut on HBO Max Dec. 10 Lucas Hedges also appears in the film as Alice's nephew, who joins them on the trip and gets caught up in a romance with a literary agent, played by Gemma Chan. RELATED: Meryl Streep Is Unrecognizable as a Redhead in First Set Photo from The Prom Movie Adaptation © Provided by People HBO Max Speaking to Entertainment Weekly earlier this year, the three legendary actresses revealed that the movie was filmed in just two weeks aboard the Queen Mary 2 ocean-liner in 2019. They also divulged that much of the dialogue was improvised by the cast.

Director: Carl Franklin | Stars: Meryl Streep , Renée Zellweger, William Hurt, Tom Everett Scott. The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend' s mistress.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Meryl Streep , Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen. The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend' s mistress.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Though it wasn’t her first on-screen role, Streep made the most of a small part in Michael Cimino’s Vietnam War masterpiece in a film that would ignite her stratospheric rise to superstardom. Cimino’s tale of how the military conflict impacts small-town Pennsylvanians brought Streep’s then-untapped potential to the attention of an entire industry, as the 29-year-old — playing the young wife to Christopher Walken’s corporal — would go on to receive her first Oscar nod for her work.

Related: Meryl Streep on Meryl Streep

a person wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)

An often-overlooked entry in Streep’s filmography, Jerry Schatzberg’s political drama is a glistening gem that saw the actress flexing her versatility in the role of Karen Traynor, an ambitious lawyer who begins an affair with the titular senator played by Alan Alda. Her performance is sweet, alluring, and, most importantly, effortlessly smooth — proving, early in her career, that Streep was capable of tackling any role and making it look easy in the process.

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Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Meryl Streep , Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen. The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend' s mistress.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep , Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Susan Brown. Best Acting Performances of 2013 (which are not nominated for oscar or golden globe).

Related: Becoming Meryl Streep: Michael Schulman, Jerry Schatzberg talk Seduction of Joe Tynan

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The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981)

Streep remained hot on her Oscar streak in this adaptation of John Fowles’ 1969 novel of the same name, which scored her another nomination (her first among the Lead Actress set).

Related: Streep admits on Graham Norton Show her French Lieutenant's Woman role is not her favorite

Meryl Streep posing for the camera: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

One of Streep’s most devastating roles has become a pop cultural staple since its 1982 release, for which she received widespread acclaim as a Polish Holocaust survivor, whose grim secret looms overhead throughout most of the film. Her moving treatment of the material during the gut-wrenching reveal is some of the finest screen time Streep has ever occupied.

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She' s an American actress, cited in the media as the " best actress of her generation". She' s known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the

Meryl Streep broke into films in the 1970 s with a role in the 1977 drama Julia. The next year she appeared in The Deer Hunter opposite Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken, for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. Also in 1978, she won her first

Related: Sophie's Choice: The story behind that haunting scene

Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline standing in front of a window: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Silkwood (1983)

By the mid-1980s, Streep was at the top of her game, the reigning cinema queen of her generation. Recouping nearly three times its budget, Silkwood — based on the true story of a whistleblower who curiously died in a car crash while investigating the dangerous amounts of radiation allowed into the workspace by her plutonium plant employer — earned Streep her third consecutive Best Actress nomination in three years.

Related: 20 whistleblower movies to watch

Meryl Streep standing in front of a fence: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Out of Africa (1985)

The actress teamed with Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack for this continent-hopping epic that proved audiences around the world were willing to sit through three dramatic hours of melodramatic Streep without complaint — all to the tune of nearly $230 million in worldwide box office receipts.

Related: Meryl Streep's style evolution

Robert Redford et al. posing for the camera: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Ironweed (1987)

Streep played a terminally ill, vocally inclined drifter opposite Jack Nicholson in a role that, alongside 1988’s A Cry in the Dark, capped Streep’s monumental decade filled with seven Oscar nods — six of which were for Lead Actress.

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Related: Meryl Streep completely bombs a quiz about her own Oscar nominations

a man holding a video game: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

A Cry in the Dark (1988)

Though not as widely seen as some of Streep’s most celebrated works, her subtle approach to this Australian drama based on a real-life case of a wild canine snatching a newborn child from her parents’ clutches was perhaps better known to the masses after Seinfelds Julia Louis Dreyfus interpolated the famous line “the dingo ate your baby.”

Related: Dingo really did take her baby

Sam Neill, Meryl Streep posing for a picture: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

She-Devil (1989)

Even in the most putrid of cinematic stinkers, Streep’s charisma is enough to make them feel abuzz. In a rare overtly sexy (and unabashedly fun) performance from Streep, she plays Mary Fisher, a narcissistic romance novelist who begins an affair with the husband of a dumpy housewife (Roseanne Barr), and later becomes the target of her devilish revenge.

a group of people standing in a wedding dress: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Postcards From the Edge (1990)

An actor inherently takes a risk in playing an already well-known personality (her character is inspired by Carrie Fisher in a film based on the actress’ 1987 novel); comparisons to the living party are inevitable, which can quickly lead to accusations of pure mimicry versus acting. But, in Streep’s hands, she finds intricate layers both in Fisher’s script and in her persona, creating an irresistible character that’s both familiar and fresh.

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a man and a woman looking at the camera: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Death Becomes Her (1992)

Another so-odd-it-works offshoot for Streep, Death Becomes Her — in which she and Goldie Hawn play dueling women bickering over a man (Bruce Willis) after downing an immortality serum — brims with dark humor, macabre flair, and amusing body horror in a genre-hopping show-stopper that sees Streep finally tapping into a wealth of tones she’d yet to explore.

Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Clint Eastwood’s romantic drama follows an Italian war bride who, on her Iowa farm, meets a photographer (Eastwood) and begins an affair while her family is away.

Related: The making of The Bridges of Madison County

a man holding a wine glass: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

One True Thing (1998)

It’s become a cliché for an actor to garner Oscar attention for playing a character with a life-threatening illness, but nothing Streep does is cut from the cloth of expectation — least of all her deeply moving portrayal of a cancer-stricken mother hosting her resentful, journalist daughter (Renée Zellweger) for personal care as the disease takes its toll. Opposite Zellweger’s fiery, career-woman energy, Streep’s sweet, superficially doting mother aesthetic slowly melts away to reveal a tender center that’s sure to move you.

Meryl Streep looking at the camera: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Music of the Heart (1999)

Wes Craven took a fleeting departure from horror to direct Streep in this musical drama about a woman who founded a school of music in Harlem.

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Related: Behind the scenes with Meryl Streep explains how she got to Carnegie Hall

Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

The Hours (2002)

Assemblies of acting talent don’t get juicier than Stephen Daldry’s haunting drama starring Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman as three women whose lives become intertwined — across different time periods — by Virginia Woolf’s (Kidman) 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway. Though Kidman won an Oscar and Moore was nominated for their work in the film, Streep was shockingly shut out of the race that year, an even more peculiar turn of events given that the film was an across-the-board contender, with nominations for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay.

Meryl Streep posing for the camera: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Streep’s roles have always resonated with a certain mature crowd, but her performance as the (allegedly) Anna Wintour-inspired, fashion magazine mogul from hell Miranda Priestly made the character an instantly quotable, automatically iconic role that helped Streep regain footing with a younger crowd of fans as the film became a huge box office hit throughout the summer of 2006.

Related: 12 fascinating details from Devil Wears Prada’s final script

Meryl Streep wearing a dress: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Doubt (2008)

Even divine entities quaked in the presence of Streep’s work as a no-nonsense Catholic school principal leading a crusade against a priest’s peculiar relationship with one of her students.

Meryl Streep wearing a hat and sunglasses in front of a building: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Julie & Julia (2009)

Some feel the actress’ take on iconic chef Julia Child is too showy and exaggerated, but even Streep at her most unhinged possesses an unexplainable magic that’s impossible to take your eyes off of.

Why is Meryl Streep no longer in "Mamma Mia 2"? Will "Mamma Mia 3" still exist?

 Why is Meryl Streep no longer in Anyone who watches the musical "Mama Mia: Here We Go Again" on TV tonight will primarily ask two questions: Why is Meryl Streep (almost) no longer to be seen, although she was the star of the first part ? And is there still part 3? © Universal Pictures Germany Why is Meryl Streep no longer in "Mamma Mia 2"? Will "Mamma Mia 3" still exist? On the poster for " Mamma Mia 2 ", Donna actress Meryl Streep is in the front row next to Amanda Seyfried (plays her film daughter Sophie) and Lily James (pla

Meryl Streep standing in front of a flower: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

The Iron Lady (2011)

Streep’s most recent Oscar victory didn’t land without criticism. Her portrayal as controversial political figure Margaret Thatcher divided awards pundits almost as harshly as Thatcher herself did the British public, especially given the neck-and-neck contest the actress waged that year with Viola Davis’ beloved work in The Help. While many have dinged this performance as a scenery-chewing masterwork in spectacular mimicry, there’s a palpable ferocity to Streep’s committed performance that’s unwavering, even in the film’s most intimate moments as it covers Thatcher’s political heyday to her quiet years as an elderly recluse.

Related: Meryl Streep discusses Iron Lady

Meryl Streep et al. sitting at a table: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle

Adaptation. (2002)

After a string of straightforward dramatic turns, Streep took a dizzying turn as writer Susan Orlean opposite two Nicolas Cages (the actor played both Charlie Kaufman and his fictional brother, Donald) in Spike Jonze’s meta dramedy about Kaufman’s attempt to adapt Orlean’s The Orchid Thief into a movie.

a close up of Meryl Streep talking on a cell phone: Adaptation. (2002)Meryl Streep © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Adaptation. (2002)Meryl Streep

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

Regardless of how many cliches the plot around her gives in to, seeing Streep unleash as an aging rocker — complete with wild hairstyles and an unhealthy amount of leather — is worth enduring the saccharine (yet ultimately irresistible) emotional notes sounding around her.

Related: Meryl Streep took guitar lesson from Neil Young to prep for Ricki and the Flash role

a woman standing on a stage: Merly Streep Listicle © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Merly Streep Listicle
Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep posing for the camera: Would the run-up to the Oscars even exist without the three-time Academy Award-winning legend? © Rex/Shutterstock Would the run-up to the Oscars even exist without the three-time Academy Award-winning legend?

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Why is Meryl Streep no longer in "Mamma Mia 2"? Will "Mamma Mia 3" still exist? .
Anyone who watches the musical "Mama Mia: Here We Go Again" on TV tonight will primarily ask two questions: Why is Meryl Streep (almost) no longer to be seen, although she was the star of the first part ? And is there still part 3? © Universal Pictures Germany Why is Meryl Streep no longer in "Mamma Mia 2"? Will "Mamma Mia 3" still exist? On the poster for " Mamma Mia 2 ", Donna actress Meryl Streep is in the front row next to Amanda Seyfried (plays her film daughter Sophie) and Lily James (pla

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