Since 1978, Meryl Streep has been nominated for an Academy Award 19 times. They're mostly all incredibly deserved honors. Even the 19th-ranked one. But it's still 19th. And that movie is coming to Netflix October 23.
Before we unveil her worst nomination, let's count up all her other nods. Consider it a cleansing Silkwood shower before the radiation kicks in.
1. “Sophie's Choice”: A cliched #1, but her confessional to Stingo and eerie relationship with that Kevin Kline-portrayed buffoon are chilling.
2. “Kramer vs. Kramer”: That searing courtroom testimonial? She aced it. She also wrote it herself.
3. “A Cry in the Dark”: Love Streep's stony resolve as Lindy Chamberlain, a media scapegoat whose story predates Monica Lewinsky's TED talk by three decades.
4. “Silkwood”: Karen got cooked and it was delicious.
5. “The Devil Wears Prada”: Grimly hilarious and real-seeming. The way she utters, “Why isn't anybody rea-dy…” to squabbling magazine interns is legendary.
6. “Ironweed”: Affecting and shockingly tuneful as a vagrant.
7. “Postcards from the Edge”: I'm checkin' out those pipes!
8. “Julie and Julia”: Remember when an entire Meryl Streep performance was almost derailed by the story of a cloying blogger?
9. “The Iron Lady”: Not exactly a comprehensive or even provocative portrait of Margaret Thatcher, but the impersonation sometimes scintillates.
10. “Adaptation”: I love when Meryl creeps us out. The last half of this movie makes my stomach churn (in a good way!) even now.
11. “One True Thing”: This is the very prototype of a devastating cancer movie, but Meryl is indeed blistering.
12. “The Bridges of Madison County”: Heartland lovin'.
13. “The Deer Hunter”: In an interview with Rolling Stone, Meryl dismissed her character in “The Deer Hunter” as “the one girl” who stands between the guys. I love her for saying that, but she's still fantastic in this.
14. “Music of the Heart”: Meryl Streep got an Oscar nomination for a role that originally went to Madonna. She deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom for such an achievement.
15. “Out of Africa.” You're lying if you like this movie. It's boring and Klaus Maria Brandauer doesn't get to do anything hot. The Iman cameo is a joy though.
16. “Doubt”: Slightly overcooked, but the moments of Meryl glaring at Amy Adams are to die for.
17. “The French Lieutenant's Woman”: It's a little like “Julie & Julia” in that only one of this movie's two narratives matters. Too bad Meryl is in both this time.
18. “Into the Woods”: Kooky makeup! Some good songs! An inessential effort on Meryl's part!
And finally, the movie coming to Netflix on October 23 is…
19. “August: Osage County”
I hate to accuse any gifted actor of throwing down an “Oscar-bait” performance, but what else do we have here? As woozy Oklahoma family matriarch Violet Weston, Streep is simply delirious in certain scenes and sarcastic during others. This is a role that seems much more dynamic in the stage version; on film it becomes flavorlessly broad. I'd still recommend watching it for a few reasons: Julia Roberts is fabulous; Margo Martindale gets a few moments to shine; Juliette Lewis gets to play the kookiest member of the family. Ultimately this movie feels sullen, and I think Meryl's gurgling performance is responsible for it.