Oscars News: Where are the great film roles for women?

Tim Gray proclaims that there are way too many qualified and deserving Best Actor contenders for this year’s Oscars, but where are all of the great roles for women? He names at least 15 men who will be in the running for the top awards but can only find just enough ladies to fill out a strong Best Actress ballot. Those include Reese Witherspoon (“Wild“), Hilary Swank (“The Homesman“), and Shailene Woodley (“The Fault in Our Stars“). Several others like Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood“) and Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”) are on the bubble between lead and supporting. Variety

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Sasha Stone also discusses the “much too crowded” Best Actor race for this year’s Oscars. Based on reactions in Toronto, she says that Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”), Bill Murray (“St. Vincent“), and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything“) now join the conversation. Previously reviewed frontrunners are Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher“), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game“), Ralph Fiennes (“The Grand Budapest Hotel“), Michael Keaton (“Birdman“), and Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner“). Awards Daily

Thelma Adams reviews three of the buzzier entries at the Toronto Film Festival from the past few days. She calls “Whiplash” with Miles Teller as a young drummer and J.K. Simmons as his professor “electrifying.” The biopic “Mr. Turner” with Timothy Spall as the English painter J.M.W. Turner is a “mesmerizing portrait of an obsessive artist.” For the action flick “The Equalizer,” Adams says it is “a straight shot of testosterone, no chaser” and that Denzel Washington brings “pure star power, physical grace, and emotional restraint.” Yahoo Movies

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Scott Feinberg also believes that Eddie Redmayne “checks off a lot of boxes that have historically correlated with Academy success.” The film “The Theory of Everything” is a true story, biopic, and British period piece about a person (scientist Stephen Hawking) with a terrible affliction that tackles the origins of the universe. He also praises the performance by Felicity Jones as his college sweetheart/eventual wife Jane Hawking and the direction of previous Oscar winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”). Hollywood Reporter

Bill Desowitz praises the upcoming “Song of the Sea” as a “sure Oscar contender” for Best Animated Feature. Opening on December 9, the film is directed by Tomm Moore, who was previously nodded for “The Secret of Kells.” It is a hand-drawn animated movie about the last Seal-child trapped between two worlds. Thompson on Hollywood

Steve Pond agrees about “Song of the Sea” but also adds that “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” will “heat up” the animated Oscar race. Since that category doesn’t have a strong frontrunner like “Frozen” last time, it could be “a dogfight” in 2014. “Kaguya” is from veteran animator Isao Takahata and is based on a Japanese folktale about a tiny princess when she emerges from a bamboo shoot. The Wrap

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