Meryl Streep is a loser. Yes, it’s true. America’s greatest living actress is a certifiable loser and no, it’s not at the box office where she’s become a powerhouse in the 21st Century, but at the annual event that should be her shrine: the Academy Awards.
After this year, the two-time winner will have lost at the Oscars 12 straight times since 1984. That’s a horribly depressing stat considering her performances in films such as “Silkwood,” “Out of Africa, “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Adaptation” and “Doubt” are in that mix. And still, no third Oscar for the beloved Streep on Sunday night. Instead, it appears Sandra Bullock’s comeback year will be capped off with a stunning win for her role in the unexpected blockbuster “The Blind Side.” How is this possible? Well, it’s complicated.
First, Streep’s turn as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia” is pleasantly respected by many in the industry, but its not deemed up to the caliber of even her nominated work in last year’s nominated “Doubt.” That doesn’t help her case.
Second, Sandra Bullock is absolutely adored in this town. From gaffers to production assistants to former co-stars to publicists to marketing executives you’ll never hear a disparaging word about her. She’s always worked hard, been good to the people around her and seemingly never lost that self-deprecating charm she displays onscreen and off.
Third, Bullock has made a lot of money for a lot of people at a number of different studios in this town. Strange, but when you look over her line of hits the past 18 years or so, she’s been a breadwinner for 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks. And when you consider that “Blind Side” has made almost $250 million with just her name above the title it’s an excellent reminder of all those bonuses they’ve gotten from her over the years.
Fourth, it’s just a great story. Crazy, I know, but the idea of “Wouldn’t it be so great if Sandra won Best Actress?” is something more exciting to consider for most members than if she actually deserves it. However, it doesn’t hurt that most critics felt she’s pretty much the best thing about the movie and carries it dramatically.
But, the Oscar statue is not all signed, sealed and delivered for this year’s Golden Globe and SAG Award winner. “An Education’s” Carey Mulligan triumphed on her native soil last month by winning the BAFTA for Best Actress. Granted, Bullock wasn’t even eligible to be nominated as “Blind Side” hasn’t opened in the UK yet, but it might have been just enough of a push for the early frontrunner in this race (ah, October was so long ago) to make a surprising comeback.
But that’s a big maybe.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
The nominees are:
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push” by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”
Who Will Win: Bullock for “The Blind Side”
Who Should Win: Mirren for “Last Station” (yep, it’s true and no one is talking about it because she just won for “The Queen”)
Upset Contender: If Bullock and Streep split the vote, it’s possible a last minute surge could make Mulligan the true upset of the night.
All Academy Award predictions will be posted by mid-day Friday. For previous predictions, click the links below.
Best Original Score, Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary Feature
Best Cinematography, Best Make Up, Best Costumes and Best Art Direction
Live Action, Animated and Documentary Shorts
Friday, March 5
For a list of all the 82nd Academy Award nominees, click here.
For the latest Oscar and Entertainment news, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.