There was a thread started last week on the Gold Derby forums entitled "Where Meryl Streep finished with her 16 losses." It's been fun to see people's rankings and thoughts/explanations as to where they thought she fell every time she's been nominated for an Academy Award. I haven't added my two cents up to this point, but one of my most faithful readers suggested I provide my rankings. Ask and ye shall receive.
I'm not going to go through the trouble of listing and ranking every nominee. I'll simply list the year (of film release) for each of Meryl's nominations and where I think she may have ended up in the voting lineup. If you're interested in the list of other nominees, they can be found by searching here. We obviously know she finished first in 1979 (Kramer vs Kramer), 1982 (Sophie's Choice) and 2011 (The Iron Lady). Here goes...
1978 The Deer Hunter: 4th
1981 The French Lieutenant's Woman: 2nd
1983 Silkwood: 4th
1985 Out of Africa: 3rd
1987 Ironweed: 5th
1988 A Cry in the Dark: 3rd
1990 Postcards from the Edge: 5th
1995 The Bridges of Madison County: 4th
1998: One True Thing: 5th
1999: Music of the Heart: 5th
2002 Adaptation: 2nd
2006 The Devil Wears Prada: 2nd
2008 Doubt: 2nd
2009 Julie & Julia: 2nd
2013 August: Osage County: 5th
2014 Into the Woods: 3rd
Of course these are just my best guesses, and I'd be happy to provide my full ranking on individual years if anyone's interested. Difficult years for me were 1978, 1983, 1995 and 2014. I'm fairly confident in her 2nd place finishes in 2002-2009. It helped set the stage for what many thought was her "overdue" status for a third win in 2011.
Let me know your thoughts!