Streep is the queen of period dramas, but she also brings plenty of intrigue to thrillers. In this tense film, she stars as an activist fighting against pollution in her community. Streep’s ice-cold fashion mag editor Miranda Priestley would strike fear into the hearts of any former interns. She carries the film with her withering stare and impeccable accent work.
1. The Bridges of Madison County
Adapted from the best-selling novel, this film has become a classic American romance for the ages. Streep delivers a stunning performance that is nothing short of captivating. Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride living on an Iowa farm in 1965, finds herself struggling to balance her romantic urges with her matriarchal duties. When the man of her dreams resurfaces, she must make a choice that will alter both their lives forever. The script skirts many of the cliches that plague love stories of this type, but is still effective at capturing the heart.
This flixtor movies film is an underrated drama that showcases the chameleon-like qualities of Meryl Streep. Streep is often cast as the wise, sagely female character in films, but she manages to bring an unexpected vulnerability and fragility to this movie. She is supported by a solid supporting cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Julie Walters. The ending of the film is bittersweet but not depressing, and it provides a satisfying conclusion to the story.
2. A Cry in the Dark
Streep made her big-screen debut in this drama and was immediately recognized as a force to be reckoned with on screen. It’s not only one of her best films, but also arguably the most important female-driven film of all time. The movie sparked a conversation about female adolescence and the importance of empowering young women. Streep’s performance was a career-defining one, and it’s no wonder she won an Oscar for it (her first).
While her acting resume is full of period dramas, this light romantic comedy is a welcome departure from the rest. It’s no surprise that it was a huge hit, as the movie earned over $224.6 million worldwide. Streep is a joy to watch, and her on-screen chemistry with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin is simply unmatched.
3. The Devil Wears Prada
While opera may have been her initial passion, Streep found that the stage was where she really made her mark. After studying acting at Vassar and Yale, she quickly landed several prestigious roles. This led to her first Oscar nomination in 1978 with Michael Cimino’s Vietnam War drama The Deer Hunter. A year later she blew audiences away with her work in hit drama Kramer vs. Kramer and the Academy Award-winning drama The French Lieutenant’s Woman, both of which are considered to be Streep’s breakthrough.
She continued to rake in the awards with her performances in a slew of powerful films. Whether she was a narcissistic romance novelist in The Devil Wears Prada or a woman who lost her children in the gripping political thriller Sophie’s Choice, Streep was always unflappable. The actress’s ability to dive into the character she portrays and become that person is what sets her apart from other actresses.
4. Sophie’s Choice
One of Streep’s most powerful films, this Oscar-winning 1982 drama tackles heavy themes and emotions with grace. Taking on the role of Polish Holocaust survivor Zofia “Sophie” Zawistowski, who must choose between her lover and her child, Streep manages to convey Sophie’s desperation and confusion without making her character seem one-dimensional. It’s an incredibly difficult role to pull off, and Streep delivers on every level.
Her performance here proves that Streep is not only a talented actress, but a true performer who cares about her craft. It was a pivotal moment for her career, as she earned the highest honors in film and became the first woman to win the Best Actress Oscar, earning a record-breaking four Academy Award nominations in the process. It was also the first time that audiences saw Streep as a leading lady, rather than a supporting player.
Doubt is perhaps the most subtle, yet effective of Streep’s film work. Based on the play written by Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley, it stars Streep as a Catholic school principal who questions a priest’s ambiguous relationship with one of her students. Featuring an incredible cast, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, this movie explores the clash between those who live by strict moral codes and those who are more open to doubt and change.
If you are looking for a more action-packed Meryl Streep film, look no further than this underrated thriller directed by Curtis Hanson. The film stars Streep as a river guide who finds herself in the middle of a dangerous armed siege against her family by a sinister couple. The film isn’t without its flaws, but Streep delivers a powerhouse performance that helps to elevate this movie from a B-movie to a cult classic.