Oscar contenders come and go, and before long they’ve reached a point where it seems like nothing they can or will ever do will give them the win. For women it’s worse than it is for men. Of course, for minorities it’s near impossible. The endless celebration of the talents of Jennifer Lawrence say everything about how Hollywood views successful actresses now. Bring them up as quickly as possible, earn every last dollar you can from them, throw roses at their feet. Women have the best chance to win in their 30s, second best in their 20s but by their 40s and 50s things drop considerably. If you are Katharine Hepburn you’ve won three Oscars after you hit the age of 60, incredibly. Meryl Streep also won in her 60s. By the time they hit 40, their chances for winning Oscars drops — partly because there are fewer and fewer good parts for them and partly because the Oscar celebration itself, for women anyway, always tends to lean younger.
How many wonderful actresses have we seen come and go and miss that window of opportunity for no other reason except age, and timing? Michelle Pfeiffer, to name one. Glenn Close to name another. Sure, there is always the chance they can break into the race and win at a much older age, like Jessica Tandy, for instance. But you can count the times that has happened on one hand.