Oscars 2012: Is this Meryl Streep's best year ever?
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Several of Hollywood's biggest names — including Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Glenn Close and Woody Allen -- have had a strong year on the 2011-12 awards circuit: But how does this season compare to some of their career high points?
With the Oscars on Sunday poised to add to their already heaping totals, we put the Heat Meter in a time machine and took a look at how this year stacks up to some of these titans' past triumphs.
The most-nominated actress in Academy Awards history has had a strong year — stronger, in fact, than 2002, when she gained heat from two films, “Adaptation” and “The Hours," and stronger than 2006, when she played an ice-queen fashion editor in "The Devil Wears Prada." And it's been a better run than her “Bridges of Madison County” year of 1995.
Streep has 127 Heat Meter points so far this season for her turn as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” If she notches a best actress win Sunday, she'll top her previous hottest year -- 1982, when she won an Oscar for “Sophie's Choice.”
1982 “Sophie's Choice”: 195
1979 "The Deer Hunter": 150
2011* “The Iron Lady”: 127
2002 “Adaptation,” “The Hours": 88
2006 "The Devil Wears Prada": 80
1995 “The Bridges of Madison County”: 44
With turns in movies such as “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons,” Close had some very strong years in the 1980s. But her gender-bending role as “Albert Nobbs” in 2011, for which she's racked up 44 points, bests them all. Even if she walks out of the awards venue with her arms empty, Close will still have topped her bunny-boiling year of 1987, when she of course played a vengeful mistress in “Fatal Attraction.”
2011* "Albert Nobbs”: 44
1987 “Fatal Attraction”: 32
1988 “Dangerous Liaisons”: 20
1984 “The Natural”: 12
Woody had one of the best years in awards history in 1977, when he was nominated for a rare Oscar trifecta of best writer, director and actor for “Annie Hall” (he won for director and writer). The whopping 375 points he gathered throughout that season are one of the all-time best for any filmmaker. Can he get close this year? Not quite. But the 138 points the Woodster has garnered so far as a writer-director on “Midnight in Paris” is still pretty strong. He can add to that with wins on Sunday.
1977 “Annie Hall”: 375
1986 “Hannah and her Sisters”: 177
2011* “Midnight in Paris”: 138
1994 "Bullets Over Broadway": 34
If you're the much-acclaimed, often Oscar-deprived Martin Scorsese, perhaps no year will compare to 2006, when “The Departed” won you your first golden statuette. The crime auteur scored a killer 275 Heat Meter points that year. Only a Marty party — that is, best picture and best director wins -- on Sunday will allow him to top that.
But the filmmaker has still had a year to remember — according to Heat Meter, 2011 is already better for Scorsese than 1990, when “Goodfellas” came out, and his landmark year of 1976, when “Taxi Driver” was released.
2006 “The Departed”: 275
2011* “Hugo”: 146
1976 “Taxi Driver”: 136
1990 “Goodfellas”: 130
*Not counting this year's Oscars
[For the Record, 8:29 a.m., Feb. 23: An earlier version of this post stated that Woody Allen won an Oscar in 1978 for best actor. He was nominated for the award but did not win.]
Photo: Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady." Credit: The Weinstein Company