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Happy Birthday Meryl: Celebrating the actress' best films


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Today is beloved stage and screen actress Meryl Streep's 70th birthday - and from a career filled with iconic performances, we have the unenviable task of picking just five of our favourite Meryl roles.

With over four decades of acting under her belt and a record-breaking 21 Oscar nominations, more than any other actor in history, it's clear that Streep has cemented her legacy as one of Hollywood's finest actresses - and will continue gracing us with brilliant performances in years to come. 

Without further ado, let's look back on a handful of her best roles to date.

Image credit: Meryl Streep by Jack Mitchell

5. Emmeline Pankhurst, Suffragette (2015)

Whilst Streep's role in this is relatively minor, she makes a big impact as WSPU leader. Her speech at a rally, which draws from Pankhurst's real words, is incredibly powerful and meaningful, especially in the current political climate where women around the world are still fighting for their rights to be recognised.


4. Katherine Graham, The Post (2017)

Streep has played many real life women over the course of her career, the three mentioned at the top of this list being just a few. Her performance as Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, during one of the most crucial points in the paper's history is mesmerising. She portrays the turbulent emotions as Graham wrestles with the decision to publish The Pentagon Papers perfectly. 


3. Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady (2011)

The film itself is somewhat bland, otherwise, it might have had a higher rating on the list, but Streep's performance is nothing short of brilliance. In her performance as a woman who has so often been caricatured by the media, Streep captures the humanity of Thatcher. It's almost impossible not to feel something as you watch Meryl portray Thatcher's struggle with grief over her dead husband. It's not surprising that this film won Streep her third Oscar; her performance truly is remarkable.


2. Donna Sheridan, Mamma Mia! (2008)

You couldn't really get two more different roles than our number two and three picks, but that is the beauty of Meryl Streep - she's an incredibly versatile actress. Streep dazzles as the fun-loving, dungaree wearing Donna, proving that she has the chops as a singer as well as an actress. Plus, who doesn't love a good ABBA singalong?


1. Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Streep's role as cutthroat fashion magazine editor, Miranda Priestly, is arguably her most memorable role of the 21st Century, and definitely my personal favourite. Everything about Streep's performance exudes power; from her voice to the smallest of her gestures, Streep plays Priestly in such an understated way and I think that's what makes her performance so brilliant. It's the combination of all these small things that come together to make such a powerful and intimidating woman. The fact that she can make two little words, "That's all" sound like an insult, is a testament to the brilliance of Meryl Streep.


Meryl Streep turns 70 years old today. 

Lead image credit: Meryl Streep by Jack Mitchell

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