As we dive headstrong into the second half of the year and as the Oscar race begins to take shape, whatever shape that might be, one of the most exciting races of the year looks to be Lead Actress. Over a dozen contenders present strong possibilities for acknowledgement, much like Lead Actor last year. What’s more interesting, at least at this juncture, is the Lead Actress race is for the first time in years, skewing to older, seasoned women. Meryl Streep, the Oscar Queen is of course in serious contention for August: Osage County and perhaps co-star Julia Roberts if they choose to push her alongside Streep. Oscar-winners Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, and Emma Thompson are bubbling to the surface as is nominee Berenice Bejo. We haven’t had an Actress lineup go with the 35+ club since probably 2007 when the lineup consisted of winner Helen Mirren as well as nominees Penelope Cruz, Streep, Dench, and Winslet. Funnily enough, many of them in contention this year.
Many of those names listed above are legends, others are in the making given their filmography thus far. The 1980’s had some of the greatest actresses delivering consistent work at their peaks. Many that we could compare to some of the women of today but sadly, walked out of the decade Oscar-less. Change one of their chromosomes to a “Y” and the ladies that will be presented in this list would fair remarkably well in a Supporting Actor lineup, where veterans are often rewarded. Times are different now with Oscar. Lead Actress winners are around 25 years old and the seasoned performers that continue to set the bar for themselves are virtually ignored unless your last name is Streep.
You can go through the gallery and look at the first of twelve women that unfortunately, still remain Oscar-less from the 80’s and where some of them excelled or stumbled following their nominations. Will any of these ladies find their time on stage? You can discuss that in the comment section following.