On Aug. 12, a Weinstein Co. Oscar warrior told Gold Derby that Meryl Streep would be campaigned in the supporting slot for “August: Osage County”. Even though the film had not yet been seen by industry and media wags, an outcry followed based upon familiarity with the role in the original Broadway play. Back in 2008, Deanna Dunagan won the Tony Award for Best Actress as the pill-popping, tart-tongued Violet, beating her costar Amy Morton as Violet’s frazzled daughter Barbara (played by Julia Roberts on screen). Pitting Streep vs. Roberts in the lead Oscar race seemed risky – perhaps they’d both have better chances to win if separated into different categories?
Now the Weinstein rep tells Gold Derby that the Oscar strategy may change based upon reactions to a final cut of the movie that’s currently being screened to select industry insiders. On Sept. 9, it will debut to a large crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival too, and it’s expected that the general consensus will be that Streep should be bumped back up to lead. Stay tuned. A “final decision” will be announced within days.