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Leading ladies shine as men take on smaller roles

Sandra Bullock  attends at the
Sandra Bullock attends at the "Gravity" premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on October 1, 2013 in New York City.
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

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2013 has been great for women in big budget Hollywood films, with men taking a back seat. This could result in one of the toughest Best Actress Academy Award races in years.  

Sandra Bullock leads the charge in the space adventure movie, "Gravity", while Emma Thompson plays a middle-aged woman in "Saving Mr. Banks". And the list goes on, with Meryl Streep in "August: Osage County", Dame Judi Dench in "Philomena" and Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine".  

With an uptick in the number of meaty parts for women, there are increased calls to scrap the Best Actor and Best Actress categories in favor of one gender neutral 'Best Performance' nomination list. Supporters of the move say acting is acting and awards shouldn't be divided by sex.

Yet, fans of the status quo argue that until leading ladies are consistently being offered strong roles, one 'Best Performance' category would discriminate against women.

What have been your favorite films with women taking the lead in 2013? Should the Best Actor/Actress categories be combined? Or should they be left alone to add glamor and suspense to Academy Awards night?


Janelle Riley, Associate Editor of Features at Variety


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