Accepting her award, Meryl Streep gave an emotional speech. “I really understand that I’ll never be up here again,” she said looking out at the sea of Hollywood A-listers and hit movie directors and crews. “I look out there and I see my life before my eyes.”
Streep, 62, was a favourite to bag the prestigious award for best lead actress because of her moving and eerily accurate portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the British film The Iron Lady. In her acceptance speech Streep was quick to thank the cast and crew of the film, however she failed to mention or thank Baroness Thatcher herself at all.
It was her first award in 30 years, with her last winning an award in 1982 for Sophie’s Choice. Since then Streep has achieved the record of receiving the most Academy Award nominations, clocking up 17 near misses. “I was a kid when I received the first nomination” she said while speaking to reporters backstage. “Two of the nominees [tonight] weren’t even conceived!”
Presenting the award for best lead actress was The Kings Speech actor Colin Firth, who also appeared alongside Meryl Streep in the 2008 musical Mamma Mia! “You are unreasonably good” Firth said before announcing the winner of the award. “Whatever role you play you raise the bar, making it a little more difficult for the rest of us.”