I’ve seen only one of the movies/performances nominated for an Oscar this year, and that was George Clooney in “The Descendants.” That’s unusual, since I usually bat .500 on these things (when you’re favorite house of worship is the Ritz Theater, you generally cover a lot of film territory.)
But this year, the crop of movies didn’t well, move me. I don’t like it when people tell me I have to see a film because it’s either ‘the next happening thing’ like “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” or because it’s something that would have met with Oprah’s Book Club imprimatur, like “The Help” or because feminists were thrilled that women could be as offensive and repulsive as men and rake in the dollars with a movie like “Bridesmaids.”
The only performance that I’m really hoping to catch before the Oscars telecast is the great Meryl in “The Iron Lady.” I’ve loved Ms. Streep ever since I saw her in a television mini-series called “Holocaust” back in the 70s, and I’ve loved Lady Thatcher ever since she showed the Argentines back in the Falklands that a stiff upper lip wasn’t the only weapon Brits had in their arsenal. That, and her help in shredding the Iron Curtain, along with Ronald Reagan and John Paul II.
I know some people have criticized Streep's performance as disrespectful in some ways, because it spends an inordinate amount of time on the current, much-diminished Thatcher who is no longer in full control of her senses. Some think it's a shameful, political attack on a great conservative woman. But I don't see it that way, especially since Streep has made every effort to honor her character by not making her into a 'caricature.' And there is no shame in growing old.
But back to the Oscars. I can’t say I have any predictions yet, since I don’t have much to work with. But if hope gets you anything, Maggie/Meryl will reign triumphant. Because women may curse and they may vomit and they may even get Oscar nominations for doing it.
But it’s the classy dames who deserve the brass ring.