Now we’re getting into a large block of first time watches. What’s surprising me (and it really shouldn’t) is how different each role I’m discovering is from the one before. I personally like to see actors get Oscar nominations when they do something completely different for them, so just allow me to point out these string of nods she got in the 80’s. Silkwood scored her third consecutive lead nomination.
This time, in a screenplay by Nora Ephron, Meryl plays the real life Karen Silkwood. She worked in a nuclear processing plant, and becomes very active with their union after realizing how unsafe the working conditions really are. Of course, the big bosses in charge aren’t having that, and she’s attacked and abused and ultimately dies under mysterious circumstances.
So Madame Meryl is coming off of Sophie’s Choice and takes a total 180 to play a small town middle America woman. She’s not just some morally driven activist. She’s a complicated character, dealing with a life of making mistakes and being looked over who has just had it. She’s finally standing up for herself (as well as her friends and family) and is brought under attack. Not exactly what she was hoping for, but at this point, she has nothing left to lose.