This week we see the return of the Oscar Queen, Meryl Streep. The woman with the most acting nominations of all time is looking to add another with “Florence Foster Jenkins.” The film follows Streep playing the real life Jenkins as she attempts to become an Opera singer. However, Jenkins is not a particularly good singer, making many question her endeavor. The film looks to be comedic retelling of Jenkins’ story, but one look at Streep’s filmography shows that this won’t stop her from potentially getting an Oscar nomination from her effort. The film also looks to bring Hugh Grant back into the spotlight, an absence that many movie fans didn’t realize they were missing until he began showing up in the trailers. This led us to ask the question, which actors have given the best performance opposite Meryl Streep? I’ve started us off with 3 of my favorites.
1. Chris Cooper- Adaptation. (2002)
Without a doubt my favorite performance not given by Streep in one of her films, Chris Cooper‘s as John LaRoche gave the veteran actor his Oscar. It is a quirky and weird performance through and through, which makes Streep’s performance in the film all the more interesting. There are few times in Streep’s career where the actor working with her could actually go toe-to-toe with her. However, in an amazing display of restraint, she stepped back and let Cooper give a fully realized performance. This might be the greatest “assist” of Streep career, and it’s hard to argue with the result. Cooper gives the most emotionally vulnerable performance of his career, while also displaying a dizzying intellect. It’s a subtle, nuanced performance that has loud moments, making it one of the strangest performances in a Spike Jonze film (that’s saying a lot). Still, Cooper crushes it, and is my favorite performance opposite Streep.
2. Dustin Hoffman- Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
“Kramer vs. Kramer” remains one of the great films of 1970s cinema, and was a powerhouse film as it marched toward Best Picture. Streep received an Oscar for best supporting actress, but the undeniably excellent Dustin Hoffman gave one of the most emotionally raw performances of the decade. It is an emotional slugfests of any film, and remains a difficult film to watch for me. There is plenty of controversy surrounding the film, examined expertly by Vanity Fair in April. Emotions ran so high on set that Hoffman literally slapping Streep before a take. For me, it’s hard to not hold it against Hoffman, but the performance is still undeniably great.
3. Stanley Tucci- Julie & Julia (2009)
Look, Stanley Tucci is still one of the most criminally underrated actors of his generation. We need to hurry up and get him his second nomination. The 2010 Oscars got Tucci his first nomination, but I believe “The Lovely Bones” was the wrong performance to nominate. It was definitely the showier of the two performances, but his dynamite performance as Paul Child was true mastery. It played into Tucci’s dynamite charisma, while also giving him plenty of material to work with. He supports his wife unconditionally as she becomes one of the most iconic women in history, but he deals with professional upheaval every step of the way. The struggle is painted on Tucci’s face at times throughout the movie, especially in his eyes, but he remains one of the most supportive husband’s in film history. Tucci would not have beaten Christoph Waltz regardless, but it’s harder to win your stronger performance is left on the sideline.
What do you think? Which actors do you think have given the best performance opposite Meryl Streep? Let us hear in comments below!