Meryl Streep moves back to ‘Best Actress’ category, Julia Roberts gets demoted

Weeks ago, sources closely associated with August: Osage County were telling the trade papers that Meryl Streep was sort of tired of all of the awards-season drama and she was taking her name out of contention for the Best Actress race, leaving the category to her costar, Julia Roberts. But that was then. And this is now. Now that Osage County has premiered at TIFF and some of the reviews are in, people are like “Um, but Meryl Streep is the star and she gives the better performance.” It’s like The Godfather: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!” So now Meryl is back on the shortlist for Best Actress and Julia has… :lol: … been demoted to Best Supporting Actress. HA.

It’s official: The Weinstein Co. has switched the Oscar strategy of the top stars in “August: Osage County.” Meryl Streep will return to the lead race, according to one of the studio’s Oscar campaigners. But here’s the shockeroo: Julia Roberts will drop to supporting.

Back in early August, the studio planned to campaign Streep in the supporting race and put Roberts in lead. Then last week, the studio hinted that Streep might go back up to lead based upon reactions to early screenings of a new, final cut of the film. But there was no hint that Roberts might be shuffled too.

Now it turns out that Roberts will compete against “August: Osage County” costar Margot Martindale, who portrays an award-winning role. The star who performed her character on the Broadway stage (Rondi Reed) won Best Featured (or Supporting) Actress in a Play at the 2008 Tony Awards.

The stars who held the original stage roles played by Streep (Deanna Dunagan) and Roberts (Amy Morton) were nominated by Tony voters in the lead race. Dunagan won.

Now Streep has been advanced by Weinstein Co. as the sole “August” actress competing in the lead race at the Oscars for this reason, according to the rep, “We have to look at the Best Actress race this way: Who’s strong enough to beat Cate Blanchett? It’s Meryl.”

But Roberts may not like too much the idea of being dropped to supporting where she must compete against Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler”), who — let’s face it — probably has that Oscar in the bag already.

[From Golden Derby]

On one side, I’m sad because I would have loved to see Julia Roberts try and campaign against the wonderous beauty and class act that is Cate Blanchett. But on the other side, we now get at least two wonderful, classy ladies against each other. Here’s the thing though: I do think Meryl is a little bit over it. She gets nominated for sneezing at this point, and while I don’t doubt she’s having fun with it, I bet if she comes up against Blanchett (which is probably-definitely going to happen), Meryl will gracefully step aside for Cate. Still, we can have a good laugh about Julia, right? Right.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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86 Responses to “Meryl Streep moves back to ‘Best Actress’ category, Julia Roberts gets demoted”

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  1. Pastyousayyouneverknew says:

    God, I hope Queen Cate wins, love that woman to pieces :)

    • A~ says:

      Cate’s performance in Blue Jasmine was devastating. She will probably win. I wish I hadn’t seen the movie, though. It depressed me for days. I still have a hard time thinking about it.

      • nicegirl says:

        OOOOHHHH, A, more info, please . . .

        I have been dying to see Blue Jasmine but am worried myself about depression!

        what’s the 411??

        Thank you!

      • Ctkat1 says:

        I felt the same way!! Cate is beyond great in the role, but the movie really stuck with me. At heart it’s a tragedy, but that only come through near the end- for the first 3/4 of the film, it’s played for laughs. I recommend it highly, if only for Cate.

    • Miss Bennett says:

      Cate is amazing! She wipes the floor with Roberts and is (dare I say it?) a better actress than Streep. Love, love, lover her!

  2. OutstandingWorldCitizen says:

    When was Meryl ever dethroned?! Julia as of late (actually for a while) has done blah work. Meryl is an example of an actor with not only impressive CV, if you will, but such range almost all actresses pale in comparison. Winslet, Blanchet, V. Davis, A. Davis (she needs to work more) Mirren are just a few of my favorites.

  3. ALG says:

    One of the reviews that I read for AOC described Julia’s performance as “one note.” LOL. I hope that actress from 12 Years A Slave wins that category.

    • bluhare says:

      That review describes all Julia’s performances. I could never figure out what was so fabulous about Erin Brockovich. I think it was the bra.

      • Pie says:

        Thank you! I could never figure out the appeal of Roberts and she has never been much of an actress IMO.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        I thought Julia was appallingly bad in Erin B! She chewed the scenery to a point where it became almost comical. Every scene where she could have brought convincing drama and authenticity, she turned into a scene of showboat melodrama. That movie was the movie where I felt Julia began to believe her own press, and every scene she did looked like she was mentally watching herself through misty, admiring cameras. Ugh, I really have no time for her now.

        And Cate was so quietly fierce and brilliant in Blue Jasmine, so luminous even in her scenes of loss, confusion, or sadness, that it was simultaneously gut-wrenching and utterly thrilling to watch her. To even pit Roberts against her (in ANY role) verges on the comic.

  4. LadyMTL says:

    I know this is bitchy of me but I am laughing so hard at this. I mean, as if Julia could ever be on Meryl’s level in the first place, let alone more worthy of the Best Actress Oscar.

    Now Cate vs Meryl, that will be an interesting duel.

  5. blue marie says:

    ha ha HA, they knew Julia couldn’t beat Cate.. it just became a toss up for me because I like both ladies..

    And Go Oprah!!

    • Anna says:

      I feel like Meryl would just love to give it to Cate – the question is, will Weinstein let her? (W is distributing, right?) I am Team Cate all the way bc Meryl is already a lifetime winner anyway.

      • Nanea says:

        Harvey made it possible for Gwyneth to get the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love when Cate was nominated for Elizabeth, and he wouldn’t ever allow anyone to not campaign for one of his movies.

        I’m pretty sure though that Meryl couldn’t care less about Harvey at this point in her life.

      • blue marie says:

        can he campaign without her? I think she’d be willing to step aside for Cate as well but there’s no way Harvey would allow it..

      • amanda says:

        You guys don’t really think someone would step aside so that another actor could win, right?

      • mayamae says:

        I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Meryl kissing Weistein’s ass before. I remember being disappointed that even she does it.

      • Ctkat1 says:

        @Amanda: they don’t “step aside” per se by refusing the nomination or not showing up, they just don’t do the full three months of parties, screenings, and press that is required for an Oscar. They let it rest on the performance, which means they don’t win. So she might decide not to do a full press run at the Oscar. Of course, Cate is pretty low key about Oscar campaigning (think the opposite of Anne Hathaway), so if they both go low key, it may not matter.

    • CaribbeanLaura says:

      Go Lupita!!! I’m totes obsessed with her now by the way.

  6. atorontogal says:

    I wondered why when I woke up this morning all felt right in the world again.

  7. Bridget says:

    Can you imagine being the person that had to break the news to Julia?

    I don’t know that I would say that Oprah has it locked up yet.

    • Christin says:

      At least she has that red dress that would make some lovely pillow covers for the holidays.

    • TheCountess says:

      Agreed, Bridget. Amy Adams will be in contention for both “Her” and “American Hustle,” and she’s a three-time nominee in Supporting who is rapidly being seen as “due” for a win. Oprah might be a lock for a nomination, but a lock for a win, in September? No way.

  8. magpie says:

    This race will be very interesting. There are already so many names being tossed around for both actor and actress categories.

    Any very very early predictions? I would love to see Oscar Issac nominated.

    • magpie says:

      …and Amy Adams in best actress.

    • Ctkat1 says:

      I love making early predictions based only of film festival screenings I haven’t seen (thus isn’t sarcasm, I do love it).
      Best Actor-
      Chitewel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
      Robert Redford for All Is Lost
      Leo diCaprio for Wolf of Wall Street (maybe)
      Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
      And then either Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis, Joaquin Phoenix for Her, Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale, Idris Elba for Mandela

      Best Actress:
      Amy Adams for American Hustle (based only on trailer and pedigree of the film)
      Maybe Sandra Bullock for Gravity (unlikely)
      Maybe Nicole Kidman for Grace of Monaco
      Probably not Kate Winslet for Labor Day

      • magpie says:

        Yes I love early predictions because so much can change! I think it will look something like this:

        Best Actress:

        Winner: Cate


        Chitewel Ejiofor
        Idris Elba
        Forest Whitaker
        with Leo, McConaughey, Oscar Isaac
        in contention for the last slot.

        Winner: Chitewel Ejiofor

  9. Masque says:

    I’ll take Margot Martindale over Julia Roberts any day, everyday, all the days.

    • Malificent says:

      No kidding! Margot always nails it.

    • lucy2 says:

      Agreed. Her Emmy winning role on Justified still blows my mind every time I watch it.

      • dj says:

        Margot! Margot! Margot! I am so glad to see some support for the great American stage actress! She has always been in the background as a character actress until Jusitifed…which I was riveted by her. This last season was lackluster without her. I would love to see her sneak in and win this category (if nominated) especially from Julia and the big O.

  10. Post-Its says:

    Was Oprah that good in The Butler? I haven’t seen it yet.

    • Kate says:

      She was better than I thought she’d be, but I wouldn’t say she was Oscar-worthy. There was nothing particularly memorable about her performance, other than it was Oprah and she was pretty good. But then again plenty of people win for “pretty good” See Bullock, Sandra, Witherspoon, Reese, Hathaway, Anne, to name just a few. Forrest Whitaker was very good. The movie as a whole though is just ok. The stunt casting is really distracting.

      • Green Girl says:

        And doesn’t Hollywood tend to reward really good actors and actresses with Oscars for not-so-good performances, almost in recognition of a lifetime of work.

    • Rida says:

      Yes she was. I honestly forgot she was Oprah while watching the film. She does have this in the bag.

  11. Greata says:

    Love Meryl, but Cate Blanchett sooo deserves an Oscar. Have not seen the movie, but I am curious as to why Oprah will win.

  12. Jayna says:

    I am sick of a supporting role being allowed into best actress category. It’s not fair when you aren’t on screen a lot and able to put yourself in the running up against someone who had a true leading part.

    • Bridget says:

      When this was a play, both Meryl and Julia’s parts were nominated for Lead Actress Tony’s, so they’re clearly both substantial parts. And I would say that it’s more common the other way around – a lead part being submitted as Supporting, with the hopes that it’s a less competitive category, or to avoid competition between 2 actors in the same movie (and to avoid splitting those votes).

    • mayamae says:

      I find it more offensive when a lead role places themselves in the supporting category. It’s very difficult to compete with an actor who dominates the film. I can’t think of an example off the top of my head except Gina Davis in The Accidental Tourist. I remember Roger Ebert complaining about that.

  13. Blossom Russo's Hat says:

    Julia has a lot to answer for in her personal life, for sure.

    However, her Oscar win (for Erin Brockovich) over Ellen Burstyn’s FAR superior performance in Requiem for a Dream is what really sticks in my craw.

    • Gia says:

      I hear ya re: Requiem. I still can’t believe that Erin Brockovich (sp?) won an Oscar. And Meryl wins for Sophie’s Choice…i mean…how can the two even be in the same sentence!??

    • mayamae says:

      And her entitled attitude when she told the orchestra leader to put down his baton because she has been waiting for this a long time. As if she’s Cary Grant or Peter O’Toole who did brilliant work and never won an Oscar.

      In my opinion she had one good moment in Erin Brockovich – when she was talking to her boyfriend and the baby talked (?) for the first time and she knows she missed it. The rest was crap.

  14. Itwillrain says:

    Wow Meryl has had some great plastic surgery. She looks younger now than she did a few yrs ago….

  15. angie says:

    Julia once claimed that Oprah was her best friend–wonder how long that will last now that the two are up for the same award. I am apprehensive that Oprah may learn the hard way how little friendships mean in Hollywood.

  16. pretty kitty says:

    yes good to see norma desmond {Julia}
    get knocked down a few pegs!!!
    would hate to be the underling who had to break the news to miss norma
    feel more sorry for danny boy, I bet he got beat up already this morning and will not be allowed to speak for days!!
    please let my amy adams win for once!!

  17. Tig says:

    Meryl is truly amazing- but I so hope Cate wins! I think she is every bit as talented, and it would be nice to see her win.
    Looking forward to seeing these films!

    • ncmagnolia says:

      At this point, I’ll bet Meryl would agree with you. I adore Meryl and always want to see her win, but Cate is a goddess. She was really robbed when she lost the Oscar for Elizabeth.

  18. Claudia says:

    Casting my lost: I choose Cate over Meryl. I really hope Cate wins.

  19. chloe says:

    I feel if Julia’s role is a main character she should only be allowed to win in best actress categories. If there are five other actresses out there with better performances then guess what no nomination for Julia. Of course with Weinstein backing her she could end up in the supporting category, he managed that years ago with getting Winslets Reader getting moved to best actress guaranteeing cruz a win in supporting and winslet a win in best actress. There are so many movies that haven’t been released yet I feel it’s a little early to start handing out the awards.

  20. lucy2 says:

    You know what would really be interesting? No nomination at all for Julia. That would be something after all this Lead/Supporting nonsense.

  21. Grant says:

    Don’t count out Sandra Bullock just yet either. She’s getting the best reviews of her career for her role in Gravity and is considered a lock for a Best Actress nomination.

    • starrywonder says:

      I think Sandra will be nominated in the Best Actress category too.

      Doubtful Oprah will be nominated in Supporting Actress though. I think Julia will get a nom but there are some tight races for supporting this year with the one woman who starred in 12 Years A Slave (who is freaking gorge!)

    • mayamae says:

      I like Sandra, but I hated that she won for Blindside. But then I thought the movie was overwrought and manipulative.

  22. LilyT says:

    Only Queen Cate could work the red carpet wearing a circus tent.

  23. Moon says:

    Oprah was awful in the butler. She was rescued by Forrest and the actors playing her sons, Oprah’s acting was better suited for a lifetime soap. She got lucky, forrest carried her

  24. Apsutter says:

    I’m not sure how “over it” Meryl is because she never campaigns. She just shows up like the G.D. shining star that she is and supports everyone else and smiles and has a good time and it shows. I’m excited for this movie and I’m having a bit of a chuckle at how P*SSED Julia probably is about being demoted and I doubt she’d win anyways.

  25. Susei says:

    Everytime i see the great Cate Blanchett or the goddess Meryl Streep i remember that Paltrow won the Oscar for “Shakespeare in Pain;-)” and not Cate or Meryl.
    The Oscars are fake! With the right friends every famous sweetheart-actress can win an Oscar. I´m surprised there is no “oh poor girl/ sympathy”-Oscar for the talentless Aniston by now.

    • Nessa says:

      I agree. Every so often they get it right by default. However, it’s mostly a popularity contest. See: both winners for best actress and supporting actress last year. Both good performances… But they also has the best campaigns. And Harvey. Who basically owns HW (or so it seems).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t know if it is a popularity contest per say, because it isn’t about the actors/actresses themselves…it is about the studios they are representing.

        Essentially, the actors are the mascots and the studio is the team.

  26. faun says:

    I watched “Mona Lisa Smile” yesterday and it again reminded me of how much I can’t stand Julia’s horsey grin and laugh. I suppose we’ll have to get used to seeing her again.

  27. drea says:

    Meryl vs Cate… this should be fun, especially since they both seem to have a great sense of humor. Didn’t Meryl send Sandra dead orchids or something like that when they were up against each other for all the Best Actress awards a few years ago?

  28. MrsBPitt says:

    I can’t even watch the Oscars anymore!

  29. IceQueen says:

    Julia is the most overrated actress of all times. She can’t compete with Meryl. Laughable!

  30. Jennifer12 says:

    Julia is ridiculous and a media creation. She can’t compete with actresses like Cate.

  31. Moi says:

    Sorry but I’m loving this. lmao

  32. crazydaisy says:

    Julia Roberts is a horrible actress with a million dollar smile and great legs. She could never act for beans and that’s just the truth.

    The only person to challenge Meryl Streep’s greatness in acting, ever, is Cate Blanchett. You can not say she is better, but it is possible that she is equal. That’s because you can’t be better than Meryl Streep – it’s humanly impossible!

    I’d have to see both performances before I picked a winner. Not that anyone cares about my vote. But I love them both.

    Julia? Yawn. Sorry, but that’s just how it is.

  33. Sunny says:

    I think Julia is a movie star with charisma who can act well but she is not a superb actress like those others named.

    Meryl is the best film actress ever and manages to constantly elevate the material she is given. She is absolutely incredible. I don’t think she will win because the danger with Meryl is comparing her work to her past performances and in such a strong year with everyone throwing down and this not being her absolute best work, I think she loses the advantage.

    Cate is a wonderful actress and blue Jasmine is the best work of her career. Oh my God the emotion she conveys with her face in this movie is insane. She manages to not get bogged down in Woody’s dialogue and she carries the entire film. She deserves the win.

    Having seen Gravity at TIFF, I can confirm Bullock is terrific in the role and basically the film is a one woman show. She is wonderful but I’m not sure about a nomination.

    I think American Hustle might be Amy Adams best work(based solely on the trailer, the pedigree of the project and my gut).

    I think it will be Amy, Cate, Meryl, Nicole Kidman(for princess Grace), and Judy Dench. Philomena was letting out of the theatre when I was about to enter for the showing of Gravity and people were really into Judy Dench’s performance.

  34. lenje says:

    Why should Meryl Streep step aside? Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress, and it’s not like everytime Meryl is nominated she wins.

  35. John says:

    It’s not a demotion, the role is supporting. Even if Streep had decided not to participate, Roberts wouldn’t have won in the Best Actress category against women who were actually the leads in their respective films.

  36. Veronica Lodge says:

    I respect Meryl, so much. However, if you saw Cate in “blue jasmine” , she was amazing. Broke my heart in so many places, but I recognized her. Oscar to Cate!