Just a couple of months back, Meryl Streep appeared to have one-hand on the Oscar for Best Actress. Her performance as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wowed the critics, despite the actual film getting lukewarm reviews at best.
The veteran American actress met with her fellow nominees at a pre-Oscars luncheon in Los Angeles on Monday (February 6, 2012), though she did so as the second-favorite for the acting gong. The Help actress Viola Davis is now heavily fancied to topple Streep at the 84th annual ceremony set for February 26, 2012. Most bookmakers are now offering even-money odds that Meryl lands the honor, with Viola now the odds-on favorite. Michelle Williams, who played Marilyn Monroe in 'My Week with Marilyn' is the outsider at 16/1, with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's breakout star Rooney Mara out at 50/1. It looks to be a tighter battle in the men's category, with French actor Jean Dujardin, The Descendants star George Clooney and Brad Pitt all capable of taking home the award.
Nevertheless, Streep will still fancy her chances come the ceremony in a couple of weeks, and in a statement reacting to her nomination she said, "I am honored to be in company with such beautiful artists.And touched deeply by my fellow actors for their generosity in giving me this acknowledgment".