Hollywood is notoriously cruel to actresses who are even a hair’s breadth outside their sexual prime. I’ll never forget the anonymous actress of this New York Times Magazine story on “girl math,” whose burglar alarm code — 2828 — “serves as a reminder to her of the age she must never surpass.” So it’s nice to see the Academy recognize the achievements of women at other points in the human life cycle. This year, Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis, 9, and Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva, 85, broke the records for oldest and youngest women to be nominated for Best Actress, respectively. I trust fellow nominees Naomi Watts, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jessica Chastain can uphold more than their share of the awards show’s duty to show me nubile women in pretty dresses.
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