Oscar Roles: Streep, Meryl in Cry in the Dark (1987)

Like Jodie Foster in “The Accused,” in “A Cry in the Dark” (1987), for which she received an Oscar nomination and the Cannes Film Festival acting prize, Meryl Streep was cast as a defiant working-class woman.

Based on the 1980 real-life story of Lindy Chamberlain, Streep's complex role, of a mother held responsible for the death of her baby girl, shows her to be proudly stubborn, but also a victim of the sensationalistic and merciless Australian media; Lindy was finally acquitted in 1987.