Meryl Streep has been dubbed as "the best actress of her generation" and is known for her phenomenal acting. The 68-year-old actress has received 31 golden globe nominations winning eight of it throughout her career. Having been active since 1971, Streep has played many unforgettable roles winning her various awards and nominations.
15. Ironweed (1987)
Meryl Streep plays an alcoholic prostitute alongside a drunk and damaged Jack Nicholson in this film. Possibly the most depressing film you will ever see, but also the best performance from Jack Nicholson and an even greater one from Meryl Streep.
14. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
An author meets a couple (played by Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep) and befriends them. Over the course of the movie he learns the terrible secret that haunts Sophie from her time in a German concentration camp.
13. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Meryl Streep plays the boss in this smart and sharp comedy that made careers for Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. Streep plays a powerful woman that doesn't suffer fools and routinely intimidates everyone around her.
12. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
This is one of the rare occasions where the movie is better than the book. Clint Eastwood directs himself in a weepie based on Robert James Waller's best seller. It's a small, but lovely story of a brief, but passionate love affair. Meryl Streep disappears into the role of Francesca, and you will swear it is a native Italian actress playing the role.
11. The Iron Lady (2011)
The film suffers somewhat in its narrative structure, with too much time spent on the ailing Lady Thatcher, but Meryl is utterly convincing playing a person that I grew up watching on the daily news. Meryl won the Golden Globe, the Oscar, and the BAFTA for this film.
10. A Cry in the Dark (1988)
Meryl uses a pitch perfect dialect to disappear into a role once again in this film. She plays an Australian mother suspected of killing her young kid. The film focuses on the lynch-mob mentality of the media and the public.
9. Silkwood (1983)
The film is based on real events story of Karen Silkwood who was a whistleblower at a nuclear power plant. But the film is more about people involved that it is about the events. It’s a story about the working-class employees of a company that happens to commit negligence with nuclear materials.
8. Julie & Julia (2009)
Once again daring to take the role of a real and recognizable person, Meryl Streep became TV cooking show host Julia Child. Nora Ephron’s delightful comedy tells the dual stories of Julia Child, on her journey to becoming a celebrated chef in 1950’s Paris.
7. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
In Kramer vs. Kramer, Streep plays a character that the audience hates. She leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. However, Streep's Joanna somehow breaks the audience's heart while at the same time representing a clarion call for the same women's issues Streep would champion off-screen as a well as on: “All my life, I felt like somebody’s daughter, somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife,” she says.
6. Doubt (2008)
Directed by John Patrick Shanley, Doubt tells a gripping story that leaves the audience thinking about how they would have handled the depicted scenario and afraid of the devastation of such an accusation. Meryl Streep plays a nun, fiercely protective of the school and the students she is responsible for.
5. "The House of the Spirits" (1993)
Based on the 1982 novel La Casa de los Espíritus by Isabel Allende, the film is about the life of a young lady named Clara (Streep) during the military dictatorship in Chile, and her recollection of her family history, and the rise of her husband, Esteban Trueba.
After finishing the film Streep’s co-star, Winona Ryde, revealed her surprise at Streep’s acting method: “I always thought actors had to be really depressed or moody or anguished to be great, but she was completely fine and had her family and came to work and did an amazing job and she wasn’t that way. I remember that being a really big deal to me. And I was like “Wow, I can actually be happy and be good at the same time”.
4. “Adaptation” (2002)
What made this movie so irresistible was seeing Meryl in her element. She just let loose, and seems to be enjoying herself, surprising herself as well as the audience by how charmed she is by Christ Cooper's sweetly loony horticulturist John Laroche.
3. “The Deer Hunter” (1978)
Meryl doesn't have a lot of scenes in director Michael Cimino's pulverizing Oscar-winner. However, she makes them count, transforming what could have been a throwaway love-interest role into something more emotional and symbolically resonant.
2. "Dancing at Lughnasa" (1998)
Adapted from a famous Irish play, Lughnasa gives Meryl one of our least favorite roles for her: a proper, joyless, and rigid matriarch. She plays Kate Mundy, the eldest of the Mundy sisters living in abject poverty in 1930's Ireland. Streep is so uptight that at times she resembles one of the townspeople in Footloose. At the end of the film though, when she learns the Value of Dance, she finally comes to life.
1. “One True Thing” (1998)
This is a role that Meryl Streep doesn't get to play that often, a nagging mother. In this movie, Streep plays a mother dying of cancer who calls back her estranged daughter to help her in the final days. Streep is uncompromising in her portrayal of her character’s suffocating personality. However at the same time she sneaks in glimpses of the good soul underneath. But more than anything she shows how much more difficult her life had been than anyone realized.