I'm still coming down from the high of Meryl's surprising win tonight. After the first few awards were given out I started feeling that a major upset may be brewing. Kristan and Scooter were counting how many times I said, "you guys, I think Meryl might actually win." I believe the final tally was six. With cinematography going to Hugo I felt the precedent had been set. Best actress was by far the biggest surprise of the evening, thank Jeebus. Joe came home and encouraged me to include in my blog post that Meryl's performance was the best of the ten lead nominations. I can't say I disagree.
As we well know, this was Meryl's record 17th Academy Award nomination and third win. Comments quickly showed up on blogs suggesting that now that she's won for a third time she'll never be nominated again. I disagree. It's easy to say that ten minutes after she wins. The Academy's memory is historically fickle. Like I previously posted, the measure I have for Meryl is for her to ultimately set the record for acting Oscar wins, which would be a total of five. August: Osage County may be the perfect vehicle for that progression in two years.
I liked how Meryl and Viola Davis embraced before Meryl went up on stage, and thought it was super classy how she mentioned her husband, Don Gummer, before anything else. Meryl took advantage of the moment, and recognized that it was unlikely that she would ever be in that position again. She chose to thank her "old friends, new friends," and didn't really mention much about The Iron Lady, aside from mentioning her hair/makeup partner J. Roy Helland, with whom she's worked on every one of her films since Sophie's Choice in 1982 (coincidentally her last Oscar win). She had certainly mentioned director Phyllida Lloyd several times in previous wins and interviews, and having finally won again at this point in her career, I don't consider it a sin of omission.
This is not the end. She is 60% of the way to history. For now, however, I'll savor the flavor. I could not find her acceptance speech online yet, so if you see it below, it was added after this post's completion. I'm sure there is a lot more I could write about this but I wanted to post while my mind was fresh on the matter. Congratulations, Meryl!
The 84th Annual Academy Awards: Meryl Streep's... by YouL00K