Meryl Streep starts the season with a Kennedy Center honor

Posted by · 9:42 am · September 7th, 2011

Last week Larry King said he had it on good authority that Meryl Streep would be honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Today, it turns out he was right.

Streep will be feted alongside musicians Neil Diamond and Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist Sonny Rollins and singer/actress Barbara Cook. The announcement is a great way to launch her into the awards season as she looks to be a good bet for Oscar recognition for her role as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” especially seeing as Glenn Close is dominating that conversation this week with “Albert Nobbs” bowing in Telluride before moving on to Toronto.

The Kennedy Center Honors will take place on December 4, the week the National Board of Review really gets the awards circuit going and just under two weeks before the release of “The Iron Lady.” But the won’t be broadcast on CBS until December 27.

Over at The New York Times’ Arts Beat blog, Ashley Southall has a statement from Streep:

I am deeply honored by this news, and wish my mother and father were alive to hear it!…All that education, allowance, tuition, voice lessons, summer jobs, scholarship application deadlines and loving care and discipline – all that they gave me, bore fruit in a way they never dreamed. I am so grateful!

“The Iron Lady” skipped the fall festival circuit, but I’m told it simply wasn’t finished yet.


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10 responses so far

  • 1 9-07-2011 at 10:28 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Fantastic! I’m eagerly looking forward to her speech already.

    Gonna be quite the race though: Will the merits of either film (Streep’s or Close’s) detract from the perception of the performances as a whole? Whose “overdue” status will tip the scales? Will Davis manage to ‘upset’, so to speak, what’s thought to be a face-off? Should prove interesting.

  • 2 9-07-2011 at 11:07 am

    SC said...

    Streep’s biggest weakness in awards races is her ubiquity. Close hasn’t been nominated since the 80s, and I imagine fans and her media team will be making the case that this might be the Academy’s last shot to give her the little golden man. Streep has been getting nominated once every two years for the past 32 years. Nobody believes this will be her last nomination, so there’s little sense of urgency. I think Streep has definitely succeeded in building up the belief that she needs to have three Oscars before this is all over, but it’s hard to activate that sentiment in a specific race.

  • 3 9-07-2011 at 11:09 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I completely agree. That’s why when discussing Streep’s 3rd Oscar quest, I’ve always maintained I believe the Academy will award her for some monumental dramatic role. Although a biopic, this still feels lightweight. Whereas with Close, although it’s a very tight and controlled performance apparently, her campaigners can still make a convincing argument for her win.

  • 4 9-07-2011 at 11:36 am

    Cinesnatch said...

    I agree. I wasn’t feeling this was going to be her year, but the Kennedy Honor certainly puts a twist into the matter.

  • 5 9-07-2011 at 12:25 pm

    JJ1 said...

    It seems like Glenn Close gives a very strong (if not incredible) performance in AN. Viola Davis has gotten great ink, but one wonders if she’ll slide Supporting.

    I get the feeling that if Streep is as powerhouse as she can be … then the Oscar is hers. If that’s the case, I wonder if Close’s performance/Oscar narrative could even hold up.

  • 6 9-07-2011 at 1:41 pm

    /3rtfull said...

    I’m happy for Streep. I want Close to get the Oscar but I have no faith with the Academy these days after the continued bitch slapping of Annette Bening.

  • 7 9-07-2011 at 2:04 pm

    Mark said...

    The Kennedy Center honor certainly adds additional momentum to Streep’s Oscar hopes.

  • 8 9-07-2011 at 2:14 pm

    sosgemini said...

    Uhh, as a recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors, you don’t technically give a speech during the show. You make a statement during the President’s lunch or something like that but no speech.

  • 9 9-07-2011 at 3:38 pm

    Maxim said...

    Glad for her and Yo Yo Ma! Kind of suprised they didn’t honor Woody Allen yet.

  • 10 9-07-2011 at 9:17 pm

    Keith said...

    Good for Meryl. Well deserved. I always watch the show. I’ll be looking forward to this year’s even more.