meryl streep walt disneyAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Meryl Streep's nine-minute speech at the National Board of Review dinner was primarily intended to honor her friend and colleague Emma Thompson for her performance in "Saving Mr. Banks." Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, the author of "Mary Poppins," who is convinced by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to part with her beloved creation for a film adaptation. And, indubitably, Streep did lavish praise on Thompson, whom she fondly referred to as "a rabid, man-eating feminist," and even reciting a poem she'd written for the occasion about Thompson. (Thompson eschewed shoes to take the stage "as a feminist statement" and encouraged women to give high heels the boot.)

Streep also had some choice words about the late Walt Disney and some of his less lovable aspects. Here's just a snippet of her eloquent, stinging speech:

"Disney, who brought joy arguably to billions of people was, perhaps, or had some racist proclivities. He formed and supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group and he was certainly, on the evidence of his company's policies, a gender bigot... When I saw the film, I could just imagine Walt Disney's chagrin at having to cultivate P.L. Travers' favor for the 20 years that it took to secure the rights to her work. It must have killed him to encounter in a woman an equally disdainful and superior creature, a person dismissive of his own considerable gifts and prodigious output and imagination."

When Deadline reported Disney's acquisition of the "Saving Mr. Banks" script in February of 2012, the site reported, "There have been rumors of the script being considered by Tom Hanks (for Disney) and Meryl Streep (for Travers)." So much for those rumors!

Oh, and if that wasn't cool enough, Streep was wearing a "Nebraska"-style trucker hat when she first got onstage. In any case, it's clear which awards season dinner is the "Prize Winner."
categories Movies, Awards