The 2017 Oscars are looming. But despite most of the big names being up for a gong, there’s one person missing from the Best Actress category.
But why was the Arrival actress snubbed by the Oscars? And does Meryl Streep really deserve another Academy Award nomination?
The star of Arrival, the 2016 sci-fi film about a linguistics professor who leads an elite team of investigators after spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world, Amy was the heart of the film – and after BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG nominations, an Oscar felt like a shoo-in.
Yet surprising nearly everyone, Amy’s name was not on the list when it was revealed, leaving the five spaces for Ruth Negga, Isabelle Huppert, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep.
All are worthy nominees; 2017 was an incredibly strong year for actresses, with Annette Bening also missing out on a spot despite one of her best performances in 20th Century Women, along with Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain.
But we have to ask – does Meryl really deserve this 20th Oscar nomination?
It’s a record breaking nomination, making her the actress with the most number of nominations in Academy Awards history, and if she wins, she will equal Katherine Hepburn’s record of four Academy Awards.
But Meryl is nominated for Florence Foster Jenkins, a film that received middling reviews and is hardly the best of her career – let’s recall Kramer vs Kramer (1979), Sophie’s Choice (1983), or Doubt (2009), all memorable performances that we still sit down and watch decades later.
Meryl is one of the greatest actresses of our generation – just watch Postcards From The Edge (1991) or The Devil Wears Prada (2007) – but there seems to be a pattern emerging of the Academy deigning to give Meryl nominations for any film she stars in now just because she’s Meryl Streep.
(Julie and Julia (2010), August: Osage County (2014), Into The Woods (2015), anyone?)
And frankly, in a year when there were so many performances by women that were deserved of award recognition, it’s a struggle to watch other actresses get overlooked for lesser films.
Amy’s performance as Louise Banks is captivating, ensuring the audience remain attached emotionally to the film as it twists and turns around the drama of aliens landing on earth.
It’s a career best from Amy, who has been nominated five times in the past and has yet to win a single gold Oscar, and in 10 years time, we think it’s safe to say it will be Amy’s performance, and not Meryl’s, that we remember.
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