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The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable: The Actresses *

Two Sundays from now millions of us will be gathering to watch the Academy Awards. Not anywhere near as many million of us that typically watch the Super Bowl which easily garners over 100 million eyeballs, but still, with an audience of over 30 million, a whole lot of us. 

For some of us, it’s all about what they wore. An excuse to dress up in glam gowns and down the champagne and when the Red Carpet portion of the evening is over, so is the show. 

For others it’s a more serious evening, the crowning the so-called winners, a dubious distinction when you consider some of the most magnificent movies, movies we love like Singin’ in the Rain and The Shawshank Redemption, are so called losers!

As a fervent film fan, some of what I love about the buzz and the buildup to the Oscars is a chance to hear what the movie makers have to say about their process. Hearing actresses sitting around talking, not about who designed their dresses, but about their work and how they manage it, is pure pleasure.  

Amy Adams in Arrival based on the novella by Ted Chiang

In today’s Sunday Slacker featuring the Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable, you’ll notice not all the women are nominees. Amy Adams, while heavily in the conversation for her performances in both Nocturnal Animals and Arrival was left off the list of nominees, as was Taraji P. Henson for Hidden Figures and Annette Bening for 20th Century Women. 

Isabelle Huppert in Elle based on the book Oh! by Philippe Djian

While Emma Stone (La La Land) Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Isabelle Huppert (Elle) are three of this year's Best Actress Nominees, their fellow nominees—Ruth Negga for Loving and Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins are sadly absent.

Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly

On the other hand, Naomie Harris is a nominee, but in the Best Supporting Actress category. Harris is beyond recognition as a junkie mother in Moonlight. Not present in that category are Viola Davis for Fences, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea.

While it’s not an all-inclusive panel, these seven women represent some of the finest female actors working today. 

Pour a cup of coffee—or a mimosa—and enjoy!