Meryl Streep To Be Honored at Berlinale in 2012 – Jennifer Merin reports

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Meryl Streep will be awarded the Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, 2012. The award will be presented at a screening of her latest work, The Iron Lady, at the Berlinale Palast in Berlin. In The Iron Lady, Streep portrays Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The film imagines how Margaret, at the end of her life, might look back through fragmented memories to weigh-up the personal cost of her decisions. The film is not so much about politics as about power and the loss of 2012.

Widely recognized as one of the world’s most gifted and popular actresses, Meryl Streep has appeared in over 40 films and received countless awards and nominations, including an unprecedented 16 nominations for the Oscar with two wins and 18 Golden Globe nominations with seven wins.

“We are delighted to be able to award the Honorary Golden Bear to such a terrific artist and world star. Meryl Streep is a brilliant, versatile performer who moves with ease between dramatic and comedic roles,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.

Meryl Streep’s international breakthrough came in the late 1970s with the TV series Holocaust and Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter (1978, first Oscar nomination) as well as the divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer (1979, directed by Robert Benton), for which she received her first Oscar. She won a second Academy Award for her compelling performance in Sophie’s Choice (1982, directed by Alan J. Pakula).

She also starred in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy Manhattan (1979) and the historical drama The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981, directed by Karel Reisz). She portrayed a very committed union activist in Silkwood (1983) by Mike Nichols, as well as Tania Blixen in Sidney Pollack’s epic adaptation of Out of Africa (1985). With Susan Seidelman’s She-Devil (1989), Streep appeared in her first comedy; in 1992, she gave yet another brilliant comic performance in Death Becomes Her (directed by Robert Zemeckis). In the 1995 drama The Bridges of Madison County, she played the lead alongside Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film. In 2002, she performed in Stephen Daldry’s screen adaptation of the novel The Hours. Leading roles followed in the energetic satire The Devil Wears Prada (2006, directed by David Frankel), Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion (2006), and the political thriller Lions for Lambs (2007, directed by Robert Redford). With the musical comedy Mamma Mia (2008, directed by Phyllida Lloyd), and Julie & Julia (2009, directed by Nora Ephron), Meryl Streep once again showed how versatile she is. She has received her most recent Golden Globe nomination with her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011, directed by Phyllida Lloyd).

Meryl Streep has been invited to the Berlin International Film Festival several times: in 1999, she was awarded the Berlinale Camera; and in 2003, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and she shared a Silver Bear for their performances in The Hours. In 2006, she could again be seen in the Berlinale Competition in Robert Altman’s ensemble comedy A Prairie Home Companion.

During the Berlinale’s Homage series for Streep, audiences will have the opportunity to see the following films:

  • Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) By Robert Benton, with Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Justin Henry
  • Sophie’s Choice (1982, Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role) By Alan J. Pakula, with Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Günther Maria Halmer
  • Out of Africa (1985) By Sidney Pollack, with Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer
  • The Bridges of Madison County (1995) By Clint Eastwood, with Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Victor Slezak
  • A Prairie Home Companion (2006) By Robert Altman, with Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly
  • The Iron Lady (2011) By Phyllida Lloyd, with Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Coman, Roger Allam
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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).