Will being a gracious loser keep Meryl Streep from winning an Oscar?

When Meryl Streep won Best Actress at the SAG Awards three years ago for “Doubt,” she giddily thanked co-star Viola Davis and exclaimed, “My God, somebody give her a movie!” Well, Streep’s wish came true and Davis earned rave reviews this summer as a 1960s Mississippi maid in “The Help.”


Did Streep’s generous words help Davis get the part? Probably not. But Davis is her biggest competition in the Best Actress race. Streep stars in “The Iron Lady” as the formidable Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister. No one would be surprised to see her get a seventeenth Oscar nod. Her buzz is undeniable.

Only this awards season, she’ll hopefully keep her trademark kindness under wraps if she wants to pick up that long-awaited third statuette. Streep’s brilliant performances, incomparable work ethic, and genuine graciousness helped her rack up a record sixteen Oscar nominations for acting. While she regularly laughs off claims she’s “the greatest living actress,” Streep hasn’t won an Academy Award since 1982 when she prevailed as Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice” (1982); her previous win was in the supporting race for “Kramer vs. Kramer” in 1979.

With her last Oscar bid for “Julie & Julia” (2009), Streep was almost absurdly gracious to rival contender Sandra Bullock. She even let Bullock plant a kiss on her when they tied for Best Actress at the Critics Choice Awards. Bullock would ultimately win the Oscar for her role in “The Blind Side.” Even the notoriously cordial Streep surely knew losing an acting award to Bullock was less a tender kiss and more a slap in the face.

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