Meryl overcomes 'Streep fatigue' for third win
Who could help being moved by Meryl Streep's genuinely gracious and humble speech giving thanks for an "inexplicably wonderful career".
Her third win at the Oscars had the feel of a lifetime achievement award – the veteran said she saw her life before her eyes.
Meryl, 62, had previously been recognised as best supporting actress for Kramer v Kramer (1979) and best actress in Sophie's Choice (1982).
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At the podium on Sunday, the grande dame of Hollywood thanked her friends "departed and here now" – looking heavenwards for a moment as she did so.
Then, surveying the room, she told the audience: "This is such a great honour but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendship and the love and the sheer joy we've shared making movies together."
Many of them including Sandra Bullock and Michelle Williams could be seen nodding in agreement.
Meryl was almost certainly thinking of John Cazale, the star of The Deerhunter and The Godfather, to whom she was engaged and who died of cancer in 1978.
But right at the outset there was a special mention for her husband of 33 years, sculptor Don Gummer.
"All the things I value most are because of you," the actress told him, adding that if she did it later the music would drown out his name.
The critics' money had been on Viola Davis for The Help. After all Meryl's awards cabinet is weighed down with gold.
As she herself pointed out with typical good humour backstage. "I mean, I was a kid when I won this, like, 30 years ago.
"Two of the nominees were not even conceived.
"I have everything I've ever dreamed of in my life. And, I think there's room for other people.
"Frankly, I understand Streep fatigue and it shocked me that it didn't override this tonight. So I was really, really happy but I don't take anything for granted, that's for sure."
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