Article by Ceri Wheeldon
There has been a lot of criticism about the lack of diversity in this year’s awards season for the film industry – but one box that was definitely ticked was the ‘age’ box.
Renee Zelleweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern all won Oscars last night. All are over 50 and have had the opportunity to portray some of the best roles of their careers – and the viewing audience and their peers have acknowledged and appreciated their performances.
No longer are this generation of actors and actresses being overlooked, playing the token mother (or grandparent) role. They are playing leading roles and proving that talent does not diminish following a milestone birthday. The cinema going public and Netflix streamers want to see them.
Will the fact that these ‘A list’ are showing that the over 50s are not fading into the background and becoming invisible help change perceptions of ageing?
Maturity and experience shone through
Their maturity and experience shone through in their performances. By coincidence I have seen all three films. Renee Zellweger’s portrayal of Judy Garland was haunting – as you watched she became Judy Garland – all memories of Bridget Jones erased for the duration of the film. The raw emotion she was able to show touched everyone who saw it.
Is Hollywood waking up to the fact that not only does this generation have so much to contribute – and push the boundaries when it comes to performance, but that the films they star in also resonate with our generation. We relate to the characters and storylines.
Perhaps we are lucky that there is a huge talent pool of actors and actresses over 50 who still command respect at the box office, and who will continue to push their careers forward.
I’m hoping that this positive direction will filter through to other industries- with mainstream employers appreciating the vast talent pool available to them should they positively embrace the over 50s in the workplace.
Congratulations to Brad, Renee and Laura- flying the flag for age inclusivity!