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Meryl Streep - 'Hope Springs'
Pro: The 17-time nominee and reigning Best Actress winner can get nominated just for breathing – and she does a lot more than breathe in this seemingly modest but profoundly affecting marital dramedy, in which, for this writer's money, she does her best work in ten years. Her delicate, mannerism-free performance as a mousy sixtysomething trying to revive her marriage should resonate with many of her contemporaries, and if the film seems too lightweight for awards... well, so did “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Julie & Julia.”
Con: Where's the buzz? Reviews were strong for both Streep and her co-star Tommy Lee Jones in August, but she hasn't stuck in the conversation the way she did for summer releases “Prada”and “Julia.” Perhaps, in the wake of her divisive third win, Streep fatigue has finally set in? Or perhaps, after such accomplished feats of mimicry as her Julia Child and Maggie Thatcher, people are less wowed when the actress plays an everywoman.
- Guy Lodge