Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Streep likely going supporting for "August: Osage County"

Meryl fans everywhere are damn near in shock.  Tom O'Neill over at Gold Derby has indicated in a recent article that Meryl has agreed to be campaigned in the supporting category for August: Osage County.  This is huge news.  A debate that seemed mostly settled has now resurfaced, in which the blogosphere opines on category placement for both Streep and Julia Roberts.  Most, myself  included, assumed that Streep would go lead, therefore making it difficult for Roberts to get nominated alongside her in the same category...a feat not accomplished since 1991's Thelma & Louise.  An argument can be made for either Streep or Roberts to go supporting.  Truth be told, I think the amount of screen time (which Roberts no doubt will have more of) is always an easier, if not accurate, indicator for people to wrap their brains around when deciding placement.

But with the lead category becoming saturated with the likes of heavy hitters Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet and possibly Amy Adams, I can understand Harvey Weinstein's rationale.  Streep won last year in lead for The Iron Lady, and the current supporting category is much less full.  Right now, only Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) and Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler) seem like good bets at this point.  Spencer, like Streep, just won the Academy Award in 2012 for Actress in a Supporting Role for The Help.  There's no strong "due" factor for her obviously so it wouldn't hurt Streep's chances.  I haven't seen Oprah's performance yet, but I can't imagine it being stronger than Meryl's as Violet Weston, a role for which I firmly believe would be an extremely difficult role to beat in lead had Meryl not won last year.  That recent win helps explain why Meryl is perhaps cool with going supporting now, as opposed to for One True Thing, The Devil Wears Prada, or Julie & Julia.

As this news proves, only time will tell where everything will end up.  Suffice it to say that I was looking forward to Meryl being in the hunt for a lead win, but as things progress, that was seeming less likely considering the aforementioned factors.  Maybe we'll be calling Meryl a four-time Oscar winner next year after all.  Two wins in both supporting and lead wouldn't be too shabby, right?  Don't forget though, she still has to break the record at some point.  I was just hoping she could at least tie Katharine Hepburn for lead wins.  Not that she still couldn't, but I thought August: Osage County would be the perfect vehicle.  Turns out it still may be, just in a different category.  Can anyone tell the difference between an Oscar statuette for lead and supporting wins?  I didn't think so.


  1. Yes I'm afraid I can see the difference and I think so can Meryl. She even left her Supporting trophy behind in the bathroom during the 1980 ceremony! :)
    All jokes aside, if this goes ahead I'll actually be quite disgusted. On what planet is Meryl Streep (in this role) supporting anyone? It's absurd.
    And the shift makes no sense for the film as a whole as I surely doubt Roberts has a very strong chance of becoming a 2-time winner ahead of Dench/Blanchett et al.
    She stands a better chance of winning in supporting and therefore a category switch will only hurt her chances too.

    All this move would do apart from make me want to boycott watching is likely take a lot of prestige away from a category which will likely contain Meryl's friends (Oprah, Margo Martindale perhaps and possibly Amy Adams).

    I agree with you, I want her to win in lead again but if it doesn't happen this year there is no rush. We don't have to hedge our bets and compromise. And this is a compromise.

    1. The thing to remember is that the category placement really doesn't have anything to do with Meryl's performance in this film. I am still VERY much looking forward to seeing her in this film! It is going to be amazing and likely Oscar worthy. If the powers that be say it's in the supporting category and Meryl wins...joke's on them. It's a game. What's not a game is how dominant Meryl could be in the awards season if she's supporting. Out of control.

  2. Yes but looking back on this in years to come it will sorta take a sheen of her record to have won twice in each category as, like it or not, many people give more credit to a win in lead and supporting wins often become unmemorable over time.

    I don't mean to be so down on it and of course the most important thing is the film and I will be first in line at our cinema but I don't see any sense in this "news".
    Surely if Roberts wants a win her best bet is to go supporting where there is less competition?
    An acting animal like Meryl should always be in the thick of heavy competition and not sneaked into an easier group just to secure more wins.
    If this story is indeed true (I don't know at all), could it be that Roberts is refusing to be downgraded and therefore Meryl has to be?

    I understand what you mean by Meryl not going Supporting in other roles when she was on the hunt for her third win but I also think the opposite side of that argument is true. Now she is a 3-time winner she can afford not to compromise or settle or be seen to take the 'easier' route to four.

    1. I truly believe that at the end of her career, if Meryl has five Oscars (even if two are supporting), and at that point 19 nominations at a minimum, there will be NO debate that she's the greatest.

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    3. I do see what you're saying Jeff but I just think this might leave a stain on her resume and I personally can't see the academy putting her in the wrong category anyway as it's ultimately their decision.

      And she will definitely get to 20 noms, possibly even by 2015. She doesn't need this

    4. Oh I think there's little doubt that she'll eventually reach 20 noms. And you may be right about the academy saying no on a supporting placement. This isn't a done deal likely.