As I discussed in the last post of this section, by 2006, Meryl had gone the longest she's ever spent without a lead acting nomination at the Oscars. Running into Helen Mirren's performance in The Queen that year meant that despite ending the lead nomination drought, she would go home empty-handed. The period after that year, however, would begin a decade-long wealth of high-profile lead roles which garnered for Streep unprecedented (for her) box-office success, critical accolades and industry honors.
So by the time Doubt hit theaters in late 2008, she had already enjoyed financial success in both The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia!. A starring role as famed chef Julia Child for 2009's Julie & Julia was already in the can as well. It had been since Sophie's Choice (1982) that she had received a major awards win for a leading role, and ten straight losses at the Academy Awards could maybe even persuade the most jaded member to finally give Streep that elusive second lead trophy.
At the Golden Globes that year, Kate Winlset took home the awards for both lead drama and supporting categories for Revolutionary Road and The Reader, respectively. It was a pleasant surprise when at the SAGs, just a couple weeks later, Meryl was recognized for her role as Sister Aloysius, holding off Winslet. What seemed like a sure thing for Winslet turned out to cast some doubt on whether she would be able to come through at the Oscars.
Well, Winslet's role in The Reader then ended up being campaigned in the leading category at both the BAFTAs and Academy Awards. She was doubly nominated at the BAFTAs in lead (Revolutionary Road), but there is a rule at the Academy Awards that one cannot receive two acting nominations in the same category. Thus, The Reader won out and Meryl made it eleven straight losses. She'd be back the following year for the aforementioned Julie & Julia.
The full list of nominees in Meryl's category that year were:
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Below you'll see Meryl's SAG win with the Best Actress Academy Award presentation following.