This film also marked an important turning point in the history of Meryl's career. Possibly for the first time in her 30 years on screen, she became bankable. The wonderful performance in cinemas brought Meryl into great demand for a handful of roles that may never had seen the light of day had Prada not been such a hit. Within three years of this film's release, the success of Mama Mia!, Julie & Julia and It's Complicated solidified Streep's status as a bonafide, if not unexpected, box office draw at the age of 60.
Despite Prada's success, another actor's work the same year completely outshone the others. Helen Mirren's performance as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears' The Queen ultimately became one of the most dominant on the awards circuit in history. Doing a quick check, a non-exhaustive list of Mirren's wins that year include the following:
Screen Actros Guild Award
Golden Globe (drama)
Critics' Choice Award
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics
Los Angeles Film Critics
It's possibly the biggest slam dunk of the 2000's for lead role. Many consider Meryl to have been a distant second in the Oscar race that year, with the rest of the crew considered also-rans. The full list of nominees that year is as follows:
Penélope Cruz (Volver)
Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)
I've seen all but Cruz's performance, with my personal favorite (aside from Meryl) being Dench in Notes on a Scandal. In any half a dozen other years before or after 2006, Dench would've been very difficult to top in my opinion. Great year for women's roles. Incidentally, this was Meryl's 10th consecutive loss at the Academy Awards.