<-- Splendor in the grass. Spike directs Streep in Adaptation (2002)
This was also the number that coincided with what was arguably her most challenging big screen role in the Aughts in the Spike Jonze/Charlie Kauffman collaboration Adaptation (2002) and the first time she'd competed as a supporting actress since the 1970s.
Each time I watch Adaptation I seem to have a different reaction to it ranging from wild love to 'stop obsessing over yourself!' annoyance but I've never been less than enthralled with what Meryl's doing as the writer Susan Orlean whether she's playing Orlean herself or some projections of Orlean. And that dial tone reverie may well be Meryl's best screen moment from the Aughts.
The 2002 Nominees were...
- Kathy Bates, About Schmidt
- Queen Latifah, Chicago
- Julianne Moore, The Hours
- Meryl Streep, Adaptation
- Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Other Women For Context
The big snub here, the one that stung, was Michelle Pfeiffer's scary self-generated cult of personality in White Oleander. She had my vote as best of the year and it stands as one of the three crown jewels of her career (a worthy companion to The Fabulous Baker Boys and Batman Returns). She was SAG nominated but couldn't get past the Chicago juggernaut for an nomination. The Golden Globes, who once loved Michelle wildly, killed her momentum by snubbing her rather inexplicably for what may well be Cameron Diaz's weakest performance in Gangs of New York. That Diaz was in the conversation at all is another reminder of how powerful momentum can be (perceived snubs for Being John Malkovich and Vanilla Sky) and how the pre-ordained "buzz" for a Best Picture contender can have a potent affect on other categories.
The only other women who generated anything like "Nominate her!" discussion that year were Toni Collette (BAFTA Nominee for About a Boy), Patricia Clarkson (NYFCC and NSFC winner for Far From Heaven) and arguably Susan Sarandon (Globe nominee for Igby Goes Down). Though the year had other interesting supporting work from the likes of Samantha Morton (Minority Report), Bebe Neuwirth (Tadpole), Edie Falco (Sunshine State), various French divas (8 Women) and Viola Davis (Solaris), it was basically a seven or eight woman race with Pfeiffer's best work in a decade presumably landing in the dread six spot.
Your feelings on 2002's supporting women?
"Streep @ 60"
Previous Nominations Discussed
78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 87, 88, 90, 95, 98 and 99