Meryl Streep's Greatest Performances: a Countdown of Her Top 9 Movies

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Meryl Streep is a record-breaker when it comes to nominations for prestigious film awards.

She was nominated 21 times for an Oscar alone! It's all about the actress' talent for transformation: she can be a haughty fashion magazine editor, a dream-obsessed singer, or an unhappy wife with an identity crisis. Here are the most memorable roles of her career, but with the exception of the cult film The Devil Wears Prada, which you've definitely heard about.

Kramer vs. Kramer

The actress won her first Oscar statuette in 1979 for her role as Joanna Kramer. The movie was considered revolutionary at the time — the main character, a woman, left the family in search of her true self, abandoning her young son with his father. The film helped change the way we look at modern marriage: a woman doesn't have to tolerate her husband's detachment from the family issues, and she can make her own choices.


A romantic comedy-drama by Woody Allen was released the same year, in which Meryl doesn’t play the leading role, but is still an interesting character. Isaac Davis is simultaneously in a relationship with two women. And while he is choosing between them, his ex-wife, played by Meryl, is writing a confessional book about their relationship. Compared to the rest of the characters in this movie, Streep looks the wisest and most poised, and she definitely knows her worth.

Sophie's Choice

And yet another love triangle! Sophie and Nathan meet their neighbor, Stingo, who has recently moved to New York. They begin to bond and it turns out that Nathan suffers from mental illness and is constantly making scenes with Sophie. The neighbor tries to have an affair with the girl, but to no avail, as she lives out her tragic past. The adaptation of William Styron's novel brought the actress her second Oscar.


In the biopic about Karen Silkwood, Meryl Streep portrays a woman fighting for her workers' rights. Management endangers workers for profit, and Karen decides to take the big step: she's willing to tell the story to the world, despite threats and confusion.

Death Becomes Her

The 90s were the times when the actress starred in passable films, but it was then that she tried her hand at comedy. In the movie Death Becomes Her Meryl Streep co-stars with Goldie Hawn. In the story, girls try to win the heart of the plastic surgeon Ernest and keep their fading youth. But the potion of eternal life turns out to have some very strange side effects.

The Bridges of Madison County

The drama film The Bridges of Madison County was released around the same time, and was highly praised by critics. It is believed that the actress saved the movie with her acting skills. In the novel of the same name, Meryl’s character Francesca was supposed to be flighty and a bit daring, but the actress made her more feminine and sophisticated. The love story between a married Italian woman in America and a photographer, which lasted only four days, inspires people to change their lives.

Mamma Mia!

Another movie about family relationships, in which the story of a mother is intertwined with that of her daughter. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) decides to find out who her father was by talking to her mother's (Meryl Streep) three lovers. Through long conversations and catchy songs, the girl decides to re-evaluate her own relationships.

The Iron Lady

A third Oscar that Meryl won was for her role of Margaret Thatcher. The Iron Lady herself refused to see the film because she did not want her life to be turned into entertainment. Critics, however, praised the drama film about the first woman to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Florence Foster Jenkins

The biographical comedy drama film about a woman who became a successful opera singer despite her lack of hearing can be considered one of the actress' most outstanding works in recent times. Gorgeous costumes, the always charismatic Hugh Grant as her husband and the incomparable Meryl make a winning combination for a successful film.