Jennifer Lawrence at the "Silver Linings Playbook" premiere. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty…)
The race for best performance by an actress in a motion picture comedy or musical divided sharply along generational lines Thursday with wry septuagenarians Judi Dench and Maggie Smith facing off against Gen Y Millennials Jennifer Lawrence and Emily Blunt in the category.
Meryl Streep, 63, also received a nomination for her performance in the senior citizen sex romp “Hope Springs.”
Lawrence, 22, who was nominated for a best actress Academy Award for her breakthrough performance in 2010’s “Winter’s Bone," has already picked up a number of critics’ association awards. She’s considered a strong Oscar contender for her alternately wacky, soulful and conflicted portrayal of an emotionally unstable widow in director David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Blunt, meanwhile, arrives as a surprise nominee, playing a sheik’s executive assistant in the romantic comedy “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” a film that few industry observers had expected to garner awards season kudos but which earned three Globes nominations in categories including best movie comedy and a best actor nod for co-star Ewan McGregor.
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“I’m so incredibly thankful to the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing our little movie that could,” Blunt said in a statement to The Times. “Ewan and the entire cast and crew could not be more deserving of this honor, and I’m thrilled that I’m able to share this moment among such a fantastic group of nominees.”
In the Dustin Hoffman-directed dramedy “Quartet,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to a standing ovation this year, Smith portrays an opera diva whose arrival on the scene at a retirement home for gifted musicians inflames the passions and rivalries of her former singing partners.
And in another retiree dramedy, 2012’s breakout worldwide hit “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” Dench plays a widow drowning in debt woes who decides to bail on her native Britain for the adventure and affordability of riding out her final years in India.
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