If you haven't heard of the Mandela effect, here's a quick summary: it's when you and a bunch of other people swear you remember something, but it turns out that thing either never happened or occurred differently than you think. Just think of that '90s Sinbad genie movie that, it turns out, never existed, or Darth Vader saying "Luke, I am your father," when in reality, that wasn't quite the quote. Or, think of Meryl Streep winning like, 1000 Oscars in the last couple decades — despite the fact that, in actuality, she's only won three over a 32-year period. So if you're one of the many people who are dreading the idea of Streep winning another Oscar in 2018 for The Post because she's just won so many Academy Awards already, check yourself before you wreck yourself, OK?
The reason it might seem like Streep has won so many Oscars is simple: it's because she's been nominated for an insanely large amount of them. Starting with her first Supporting Actress nod back in 1979, Streep has earned 20 nominations, for superb performances in movies ranging from Sophie's Choice to The Devil Wears Prada. Over 38 years, that boils down to one nomination nearly every two years. Add in the fact that she's a frequent attender or presenter at the Oscars, and the feeling like she's always there gets even stronger.
But while Streep may be a perennial nominee, she's not a frequent winner. Sure, three Oscars is a lot more than most actors have, but over the course of several decades, that's actually not as massive an amount as it might seen. Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan have all earned three wins, too, and Katherine Hepburn had four. And when Streep won Best Actress in 2012 for The Iron Lady, it was the first time she'd picked up a trophy since 1983, 29 long years earlier.
Yet despite the facts, countless people are convinced that Streep is always winning an Oscar, nabbing gold statuettes at nearly every awards show. And even if you recognize that she's only won a few awards, you wouldn't be out of line for still feeling some Streep fatigue. It does seem like she is constantly taking awards away from others, like Julia Louis Dreyfus or Jim Parsons winning Emmy after Emmy. Yes, we know they're good, but can't someone else get a shot for once? With Streep a constant Oscars nominee, other talented actors don't get the chance to possibly take her spot and win the prize.
So when the first award nominations and critical reactions for Streep's newest film, The Post — many of which strongly praised Streep for her lead performance — came out, so did the groans. "Her, again?" people asked. "Does Meryl Streep really need another Oscar?" The idea that the same person who's seemingly won a ton of awards in the past would be taking home yet another prize in 2018 caused plenty of exasperated eye-rolls. We know she's great, but enough is enough — why do we really need to see Streep's name on the ballot once again?
Well, the short answer is: because she's really freakin' good. Streep has always been great, of course, but in The Post, she gives one of her best, most deeply felt performances in years. As Washington Post publisher Kay Graham, Streep is marvelous, commanding every scene she's in even when she's just watching from the back of the room. She masterfully draws you in to Kay's inner conflict, so that every glance the publisher gives, every slight move of her mouth, is filled with meaning. It's the type of performance that deserves an Oscar nomination at the minimum, and if it won Streep Best Actress, it certainly wouldn't be undeserved.
But haters are gonna hate, and there are many people out there who'll be so annoyed by Streep's name being among the nominees that they'll refuse to consider the fact that hey, maybe this Oscar nod is actually warranted. And that's a real shame, because Streep's performance is absolutely worth checking out and rooting for, as is The Post itself. The film, about the titular paper's journey to publish the leaked Pentagon Papers in the '70s, is a smart, fast-paced drama with a strong feminist bent; Streep's Kay is the first female publisher the Post has ever had, and must contend with rampant sexism from the men in her industry who don't believe she belongs in the role. As she grapples with the decision of whether or not to publish the Papers, Kay must also continually fight to prove her worth in the eyes of dozens of skeptical men.
If Streep does earn a nomination for her role, it's no guarantee she would win; with actors like Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Frances McDormand, and Jessica Chastain also in contention for Best Actress this year, she'll undoubtedly have some serious competition. But it's true that a victory is possible, and if so, don't be one of the naysayers who say it's undeserved. Streep is excellent in The Post, and she deserves a chance to win an Oscar for her work as much as any other actor, no matter how many Academy Awards she's won (or people think she's won) in the past.