AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: The Year of Women Over Fifty and Beyond – Thelma Adams reports

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As Thelma roars into theaters, following its win of the audience award at the Provincetown Film Festival, it anticipates this year’s awards trend. Starring Oscar nominee June Squibb (Nebraska), age 94), in the title role, the actress gets her first lead role as a grandmother with agency who takes on scammers preying on seniors.

Squibb is one of the many women over 50 killing it whether in lead or support, on big screen or small. And Broadway, too.

Here are ten actresses on our radar.

JUNE SQUIBB is up first. The Thelma star is already making a play to becoming the oldest woman ever to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

JEAN SMART: In its third season Hacks has continued to address issues of female empowerment and agism in Hollywood, while going even darker in its comedy. Jean Smart, 72, has the number one spot on the call sheet and deserves an Emmy win for her comic time and emotional depth.

JULIETTE BINOCHE: The French actress was overlooked by Oscar for her sexy cook in last year’s The Taste of Things. She is a vision as Coco Chanel in TV’s The New Look. It’s a brilliant performance about a unique designer whose need to succeed also includes a dark chapter of Nazi collaboration. Will Binoche be penalized for giving life to a designing woman who had more than a few skeletons in her closet?

SARAH PAULSON: The Best Actress category at this year’s Tony Awards wasn’t one for the ingenues. The ultimate rivals were Jessica Lange, 75, for Mother Play and Appropriate’s Paulson who turns 50 this December.

DOLLY De LEON: It might have been an honor just to be nominated for De Leon, 55, the supporting actress in Triangle of Sadness that comes to dominate the twist of the third act. But, in the sleeper hit Ghostlight, she’s big-hearted and profane, an actress playing an actress who at long last gets to play Juliet despite being middle-aged. De Leon should – and could — get another supporting Oscar nod.

CAROL KANE: Whether you saw Between the Temples in Sundance or Berlin, you know that Kane, 72, is the heart and soul of this Upstate Jewish dramedy opposite cantor-whose-lost-his-song Jason Schwartzman. Can Kane finally get her Oscar this year for a sweet-and-sad relationship that recalls Harold and Maude.

JODIE FOSTER: Foster, 61, was definitely as powerful as co-star Annette Bening’s breaststroke in Nyad. Now, she has a chance to take a Best TV/Limited Series Actress Emmy for her taut, tense and unglamorous role in True Detective: Night Country.

MERYL STREEP: The queen of the Oscars, 74, has taken to the small screen in Only Murders in the Building and made a great show even greater. Serve her up an Emmy nomination at the very least.

CCH POUNDER: The Guyanese actress, 71, has been nominated four times for a Primetime Emmy – maybe this time she’ll go for the win for her powerful performance as Secretary General Lillian Joseph in the buzzy 3 Body Problem.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS: No one can turn a comedy into an emotional horror movie faster than Curtis, 65, as the alcoholic matriarch in The Bear, putting her in position to take the Comedy Best Actress honors.

Plus, add to this list, all the actresses above a certain age in Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Capote vs. The Swans – Demi Moore, 61, Diane Lane, 59, Jessica Lange, Naomi Watts, 55, Molly Ringwald, 56, and Calista Flockhart, 59 – and we have a major, mature awards trend for 2024.

What other awards contender actresses over fifty can you add to our list?

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Thelma Adams

THELMA ADAMS is a prominent critic, bestselling author of The Last Woman Standing, Bittersweet Brooklyn and Playdate, co-producer of Feud: Bette and Joan, and an outspoken advocate for women’s voices in Hollywood. A two-time Chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, current film critic and contributor, her work spans essays, celebrity profiles and reviews for many of the industry's leading publications from the New York Times to Variety.