Oscar’s favorite actress, Meryl Streep, reconnected to her Jersey roots this past weekend while chatting with Stephen Colbert onstage during the Montclair Film Festival. And it sounds as if she might have given a sneak preview of some of the titles that might make the cut on her Academy Award ballot, which are due on Feb.19 next year.
According to accounts of the event, Streep, who collected her 21st nomination earlier this year as newspaper publisher Katharine Graham in “The Post,” gave shout-outs to “A Star Is Born,” Chloe Zao’s “The Rider,” Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” and the Laurel and Hardy biopic, “Stan & Ollie.”
While reminiscing about her early career onstage at the fundraiser held at Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Streep mentioned she never thought she would be a movie star because “my nose was too big.” That was the perfect opening for Colbert to bring up “A Star Is Born.”
Referring to Lady Gaga’s Ally, he said, “You’ve could have played that part.”
She demurred, “Oh honey, no. No way … nobody but Gaga!” Then Streep began to sing the praises of Bradley Cooper’s directing debut.
“It’s so breezily shot. It’s not actor shot. Actors who direct give the actors too much air. They don’t cut as brutally as you need to in order to move the story. To them, the character is more interesting than the forward movement of the narrative. But Bradley kept it moving. Brilliant.”
Besides the three indie titles above, Streep also touted her latest film, Disney’s sequel “Mary Poppins Return,” which opens Dec. 19. She plays the nanny’s eccentric cousin Topsy, who owns a repair shop, and sings “Turning Turtle” during a musical interlude that recalls the original film’s upside-down sequence set to “I Love to Laugh.”
“The movie is just great,” she said of her reunion with the film’s star Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada”) and her “Into the Woods” director Rob Marshall. “I don’t say this about all my movies, but this is not my movie. This is Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s movie. It’s like a little tiny gift to America at Christmas.”
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.