MERYL Streep is overrated.

I'm not referring to her body of work, just her latest performance in Steven Spielberg's The Post for which she has been nominated for an Oscar.

I haven't seen the work of all the other nominees, but if Meryl's portrayal of Washington Post proprietor Katherine Graham was one of the five best performances by a lead actress over the past 12 months, then Hollywood is in a lot of trouble.

Meryl Streep, director Steven Spielberg, and actor Tom Hanks on the set of The Post. (Pic: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox)
Meryl Streep, director Steven Spielberg, and actor Tom Hanks on the set of The Post. (Pic: Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox)

Actually, Hollywood is in a lot of trouble, and that's why she is on the nominees list.

She was perfectly adequate, but Oscar material? Hardly.

This wasn't a Sophie's Choice performance, or an Iron Lady or even a Kramer vs. Kramer. It was probably somewhere between Evil Angels and Bridges of Madison County, without an accent.

In other words, Meryl Streep was nominated not because of how she played, but who she played: a woman refusing to stay silent in a man's world.

And how does that make Meryl worthy? Because this year's Oscars aren't going to be about acting or writing or cinematography. They are going to be about sending a message.

A message that has already been sent, loud and clear, at the Golden Globes.

From black outfits to lapel badges, long faces and longer speeches, that was a night for recrimination and disassociation.

Fair enough too. Some men in the entertainment industry have been behaving very, very badly, and it has to stop.

Given the reaction to revelations about the abhorrent behaviour of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others, you would have to think it cannot help but stop.

It's unlikely that Weinstein or Spacey will ever work in Hollywood again, and the fallout from their unmasking spreads wider by the day.

Even those who dare to urge caution, for fear that the #MeToo movement become a witch hunt - like Matt Damon who spoke of the need to recognise a "spectrum of behaviour" when assessing the scale of sexual wrongdoing in the workplace - have been threatened with boycotts at the box-office.

The New York Post speculated this week that the career of Woody Allen, who in 1992 was accused and cleared without charge of the sexual molestation of his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, may be over.

Farrow reiterated her accusations in a TV interview this month, even though the investigator at the time said he had found inconsistencies in her story and suggested she may have been coached by her mother, Allen's disgruntled ex-partner Mia Farrow.

Following the interview several actors who worked on Allen's most recent movie Rainy Days announced they would be donating their salaries to charity. Others said they'll never work with Allen again.

Meryl Streep was slow out of the blocks when the Weinstein scandal broke. Her first statement was little more than, "gee, I didn't know that was going on".

She has since made up ground on the field and while not yet in the lead, her big chance will come on March 4.

The Academy won't like having been upstaged by the Golden Globes. Just watch Meryl go if she wins.

It will be an Oscar-worthy performance.



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