"Casting your eyes over this year's roster of film award contenders, you'd be forgiven for wondering why women, more than ever, have been relegated to the margins. The stories Hollywood wanted to tell last year were about fathers and sons, the American west, and machismo run amok.
This is generalising, but look at the roles played by women in these pictures - sweet but disposable Kelly Macdonald in No Country for Old Men, barely-there Mary-Louise Parker in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and a handful of silent female extras in There Will Be Blood - and a pattern begins to emerge.
Where are this year's The Queen, Erin Brockovich, Far From Heaven, The Hours? Even this year's Chicago? Oscar-watchers can only point to the best picture nominees Atonement and Juno as examples of female-led cinema, and neither of these will quite do."