Next week’s cover, up online now. Get the story from the artist who created it.

My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with “plume”), and forty years ago, in my final year at Cambridge, I was recruited by the British security service. In the early spring of 1972, when exams were only weeks away, I found a new boyfriend, a historian called Jeremy Mott. He was of a certain…


The Art of the Meryl Streep Acceptance Speech

But the real reason I’m in the tank for Streep is simple: I want to see her acceptance speech. The Meryl Streep acceptance speech is an art unto itself: elegant, loopy, cunningly self-aware, and impeccably delivered—in short, everything you expect from a Meryl Streep performance, condensed to three minutes. Where else can you see fake humility, fake gratitude, and fake spontaneity delivered with such aplomb? Take her 2004 Emmy win, for “Angels in America”:

From her trademark breathy sigh (translation: “Gee, they just keep giving me these things”) and her droll opening line—”There are some days when I myself think I’m overrated … but not today”—this speech is a gem: funny, faux-scatterbrained, and self-consciously grand. When the orchestra tries to play her off, not only does she sing along to the music, she uses it as inspirational underscoring as she thanks Tony Kushner.

- Michael Schulman on the history of Meryl Streep acceptance speeches, and why she should win the Oscar for “Iron Lady”: 

In This Week’s Issue
Kelefa Sanneh on Ron Paul’s unique brand of Libertarianism; Dorothy Wickenden on Debbie the Secretary and Joe the Plumber; David Denby on Michael Hazanavicius’s “The Artist” and the lost art of silent films; Julia Ioffe on Mikhail Prokhorov’s bid for Russia’s presidency [sub. req.]; and more.
Opaque  by  andbamnan