Oscars flip-flop: Meryl Streep returns to lead, Julia Roberts drop to supporting

It’s official: The Weinstein Co. has switched the Oscar strategy of the top stars in “August: Osage County.” Meryl Streep will return to the lead race, according to one of the studio’s Oscar campaigners. But here’s the shockeroo: Julia Roberts will drop to supporting,

Back in early August, the studio planned to campaign Streep in the supporting race and put Roberts in lead. Then last week, the studio hinted that Streep might go back up to lead based upon reactions to early screenings of a new, final cut of the film. But there was no hint that Roberts might be shuffled too.

Now it turns out that Roberts will compete against “August: Osage County” costar Margo Martindale, who portrays an award-winning role. The star who performed her character on the Broadway stage (Rondi Reed) won Best Featured (or Supporting) Actress in a Play at the 2008 Tony Awards.

The stars who held the original stage roles played by Streep (Deanna Dunagan) and Roberts (Amy Morton) were nominated by Tony voters in the lead race. Dunagan won.

Now Streep has been advanced by Weinstein Co. as the sole “August” actress competing in the lead race at the Oscars for this reason, according to the rep, “We have to look at the Best Actress race this way: Who’s strong enough to beat Cate Blanchett? It’s Meryl.”

But Roberts may not like too much the idea of being dropped to supporting where she must compete against Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler“), who — let’s face it — probably has that Oscar in the bag already.


10 thoughts on “Oscars flip-flop: Meryl Streep returns to lead, Julia Roberts drop to supporting

  1. How many dozens of supporting performances have yet to be seen, and you’re already saying Oprah has it locked up. It’s a good performance, sure, but it wouldn’t be a threat if it were coming from anyone else. There’s a lot of movies left. No way Oprah goes unchallenged. Lupita Nyong’o? Jennifer Lawrence? Anyone from “Her”?

  2. When Meryl won for “The Iron Lady”, I think she was, what, 29 years old? And I guess she wasn’t a star when she won. Did I misread the article?

  3. The Weinstein Company……….. Arhgh…….. This maybe a silly question, but how does any know Julia and Meryl are getting nominated? Anyways this whole thing is useless, ’cause Cate Blanchett will win in the lead and Cameron Diaz in the supporting, so…

  4. Oprah will be the big snub this year. The only ones who would vote are the ones who strike the set who were grateful she made their jobs easier by eating the scenery.

  5. I think this is another reporter jumping the gun. I saw the film today, and there is no way in hell Julia Roberts will be considered supporting or even campaigned as such. Give me a break, O’Neil!

  6. so much for competing in the right category. If the movie is at all structured like the play, then it is a piece with co-leads. Plain and simple. Hopefully the academy ignores this like Kate Winslet’s supporting campaign for The Reader, and if Roberts is deserving, nominates her in the lead field. Im just SO tired of category fraud.

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