5. "Death Becomes Her" (1992)
Streep has been in more artful comedies than Robert Zemeckis’s effects-heavy oddity about warring Hollywood divas, but she’s never been more consistently, uproariously funny than as Madeleine Ashton, a spiteful, self-adoring actress who makes requests like “Could you just not breathe?” with a weary sense of entitlement. Streep’s every line reading here is a crafty joy—a personal favorite is the emphasis with which she spits out the words “your tits like rocks”—and if her character gets digitally swamped before the end of the film, her introduction, in the opening number of her musical “Songbird!,” is unimprovable. How did the Academy pass on this?
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures