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Meryl's still on song

Friday, 17 March, 2000, 10:17 GMT
Streep has won praise for her role as Roberta Guaspari
By the BBC's Caroline Frost

On the face of it, it may seem nostalgic, if not unimaginative, for the Academy to add Meryl Streep's name to this year's list of Oscar nominees.

In fact, this year's nomination for her role of violin teacher Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart brings her tally to 12, a feat achieved only by Katharine Hepburn.

For 50-year-old Streep, the recognition marks a career that has gone full circle. For her first significant film role in The Deer Hunter in 1978, she gained worldwide recognition, and her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
 
Streep with co-stars Gloria Estefan and
Angela Bassett

The following year she collected the prized
statuette for her role in Kramer vs Kramer.
The next decade saw Streep prove herself
a dominant talent in American film and a top
box office draw.

Films such as The French Lieutenant's
Woman, Plenty and Out of Africa demonstrated
her versatility, attention to detail and her
mastery of foreign accents.

She gave strong performances in a range of roles,
including the working-class rebel Karen Silkwood to
the tragic Polish refugee of Sophie's Choice, for which
she earned her second Oscar in 1984.
 Streep's Oscar nods

Music of the Heart (BA)
One True Thing (BA)
Bridges of Madison County (BA)
Postcards From the Edge (BA)
Cry in the Dark (BA)
Ironweed (BA)
Out of Africa (BA) Silkwood (BA)
Sophie's Choice (BA) (WON)
French Lieutenant's Woman (BA)
Kramer vs Kramer (BSA) (WON)
The Deerhunter (BSA)
The director Mike Nichols likened working with
her to "falling in love: magical and creative, but
shrouded in mystery".
But by the end of the 1980s, she was becoming
unfashionable. A convincing Danish accent was
more likely to be parodied than applauded, and
Streep herself confessed to feeling "out of sync
with what people like in the movies".
Always vocal about the lack of good roles for
mature leading ladies, Streep made a valiant
attempt to reinvent herself, turned her sights to
comedy, but with limited success.
Comic turn Roles in films such as She-Devil and Death Becomes Her earned her no new fans and
disappointed old ones.
With Robert Redford in Out of Africa

She demonstrated her singing ability in 1990's
Postcards from the Edge but an overbearing
depiction of failure was thought by many critics
to unbalance the film. Transforming herself again in 1994, she took on
the part of the assertive heroine in The River Wild.
Preparing for her first action film, Streep compared her task to a competitive bodybuilder and learned to
navigate treacherous rapids. The movie enjoyed success at the box office but
the unusual role further alienated Streep devotees.
More recently, however, she has enjoyed a return
to the strong characterisation for which she is
celebrated.

Streep returns to form in Dancing at Lughnasa

The Bridges of Madison County and Marvin's Room
brought her fresh recognition, and she recently
appeared, complete with strong Irish accent, in
Dancing at Lughnasa.
Through the highs and lows of her career, acting
remains, for Streep, "just a job", and she prefers life
on a Connecticut farm with her sculptor husband and four children, to the claustrophobia of Hollywood.
Nevertheless, when she takes her seat at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion on the 26 March, she will be back in
the heart of Tinseltown, again being applauded for an
inspiring role in a strong drama.
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