Female? Over 40? Its role over!

Robin Wright's career may be peaking as she heads into her mid-40s, but these days American films aren't exactly rife.


Robin Wright’s career may be peaking as she heads into her mid-40s, but these days American films aren’t exactly rife with roles for mature women.

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That’s why so many of Hollywood’s most gifted female actors have moved to television. Witness Glenn Close’s glorious performance in Damages, Sally Field’s emotionally intense role as head of the Walker clan in Brothers & Sisters, Holly Hunter’s bad-girl detective in Saving Grace.

By contrast, Oscar-winning guys haven’t been running to the small screen. Can you imagine Jack Nicholson making the move? Al Pacino? Tom Hanks? No way.

Actually, this year’s Oscar race for best actress is hard to predict precisely because there appear to be so few decent roles – meaning rich, complex characters and not love interests or babelicious action dolls – for women of any age.

Buzz abounds for newcomer Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Precious’s Gabourey Sidibe, and Meryl Streep’s a lock for her take on Julia Child (Julie & Julia)… but then it gets hard to fill out the category.

Kudos to Sandra Bullock – always a great screen presence – for taking on the role of a Southern mom in The Blind Side, but when Bullock’s name is bandied about as Oscar fodder, you know we’re in trouble.

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