Meryl has proven for decades that not all American film actors are one-trick ponies. She transforms her speech and appearance as well as tapping into a character's deeper emotional makeup that rivals any of the UK thespians known for their master skills such as Gary Oldman or Daniel Day Lewis.
Meryl will be 60 this year and she's hotter than ever. Rave reviews for her 2008 performances in Mamma Mia! and Doubt, which are polar opposite characterizations, have garnered her nominations in various organizations such as the Golden Globes (in which she was nominated as Best Actress for both films) and the SAG Awards. She didn't pick up a Globe this year, but she's a big contender for another Oscar (it would be her 15th nomination and 3rd win) and many other awards that verify her as one of the most honored actors of our times.
Mamma Mia! has proved to be a huge financial success both in the theaters and in DVD sales for Universal Pictures, which shows both Meryl's box office muscle as a leading lady over 50 and her talent as a voice that can hold a note better than most of the pop tarts dominating the U.S. Billboard charts. I'm talking to you, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift!
In 2009, Meryl will star as Julia Child in the Nora Ephron film Julie & Julia, adapted from Julie Powell's memoir of the same name about her mission to cook the 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Undoubtedly, judging from her four decades of film work, Meryl will fashion herself into Julia and we will believe her.
While Meryl is one of only a handful of leading ladies who are offered good roles over the age of 40, her career is paving a path in Hollywood that will eventually broaden the minds of studio executives to see they can viably sell pictures with women selling something more intriguing than a nubile piece of ass.
Meryl Streep is the "it girl" of 2009, by a landslide.
I am admittedly bias and enjoy every film Meryl has done, even the not so good ones, but for anyone who has lived under a rock and doesn't fully appreciate her artistry, I recommend the following films: The French Lieutenant's Woman, Sophie's Choice, Out of Africa, Heartburn, The Bridges of Madison County, Angels in America (TV),and of course Mamma Mia! and Doubt.