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The Devil Wears Prada

The Contenders

Release: June 30

Distributor: Fox

Oscar Alums: David Frankel (live action short, “Dear Diary”), Meryl Streep (actress, “Sophie’s Choice”; supporting actress, “Kramer vs. Kramer”), Wendy Finerman (picture, “Forrest Gump”)

For every disparate Oscar season, there’s always one constant: If she’s had a film in theaters, then Meryl’s in the mix. Streep’s riveting perf as evil fashion mag editor Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” was the focal point in taking a midbudget, modest-expectation pic — positioned against a slew of summer tentpoles — and turning it into a B.O. champ for Fox, closing in on $300 million worldwide.

And, along the way, “Prada” gives Streep a chance to expand her dominance in Oscar’s record books. A best actress nod for Streep would give her a staggering 14 nominations over a 30-year career, two more than Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson (who’s also in contention for “The Departed”) for the most of any actor or actress. (There was some debate early on whether her performance was for lead or supporting, but a decision was made several months ago that lead was most appropriate.)

For all of the nominations, however, Streep has only won twice: In 1980, she took home her first trophy, for supporting actress in “Kramer vs. Kramer,” and three years later won her sole best actress statuette for “Sophie’s Choice” — a 23-year drought since.

Even if the film does not end up among Oscar’s five picture noms, it could snag a slot in the comedy/musical category at Golden Globes.

While Streep is the centerpiece of “Prada,” she’s not the only veteran thesp in the film who could generate some Oscar attention.

Stanley Tucci, well respected and a longtime character thesp, has been noted for his roles in films such as “Big Night,” for which he was a triple threat — actor, writer and director.

As for the breakout in “Prada,” it’s British newbie Emily Blunt, who gained a bit of a profile last year for her role in indie “My Summer of Love.” Playing Streep’s snotty assistant, the 23-year-old London native has five upcoming projects, including a co-starring role with Tom Hanks and John Malkovich in “The Great Buck Howard.”

“Prada,” of course, is based on the hugely popular novel by Lauren Weisberger. An adapted screenplay nom for Aline Brosh McKenna, who also penned “Laws of Attraction,” is another possibility for the pic.

Among the tech credits, costume designer Patricia Field (“Sex and the City”) pulled together both understated and high-end chic ensembles for the film, conveying the moneyed and privileged world of couture chroniclers. And cinematographer Florian Ballhaus, son of three-time Oscar-nommed lenser Michael Ballhaus, did a sterling job capturing the lights and majesty of Paris.

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