It was a happy night for women in the NextTribe age group.
Laura Dern, who turned 53 today, won for best supporting actress. What a birthday gift! Her win was expected since she has swept in the trophies all through awards season and could have been nominated for at least one other prominent role this year. We love that she put the spotlight on her glorious mother, Diane Ladd, a powerhouse of an actress herself. (Plus, her dad, Bruce Dern, who strangely wasn’t there with her.)
Renee Zellweger, 50, picked up her second statue. The first was a supporting win for Cold Mountain, back in 2004 when she was definitely a hot property. (In that acceptance speech, 16 years ago, she thanked Harvey Weinstein. My, how times have changed!) This win might have been sweeter for her since she was basically written off as finished during the “what did she do to her face?” years. But we like to say that these 45 plus years can be full of surprises and adventures. Zellweger proves you should never underestimate a woman of experience and conviction. And can we just say that her dress—a white sequined, one-sleeved column—was the best of the night as well.
Then Comes Ripley
But our favorite moment came when Sigourney Weaver took the stage with Gal Gadot and Brie Larson to present music awards. We’re not talking about the strange fight club they said they’d be forming (what was that?) or their introduction of Irish conductor Eímear Noone, who led the Oscar orchestra for only one piece (a sampling of nominated film scores). Uh, can you say tokenism. Why not have this supremely accomplished woman conduct the entire night? But this was not the fault of the three actresses on stage.
What we loved was the way Larson (who played Captain Marvel) and Gadot (Wonder Woman) paid homage to Weaver. Gadot rightly said that Weaver “paved the way” for women as action heroes. Weaver’s unforgettable Ripley in Alien and Aliens was the prototype for female bad-assery on the screen.
Weaver, 70, has never won an Academy Award, though she was nominated for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. It was satisfying to see her on stage, radiant in her jewel green dress, getting kudos for what women our age do every day in some way or another: be the inspiration.