This year Hollywood actresses get to play more than wives!

According to the LA Times, this year is finally a good one for actresses seeking a close relationship with Oscar. In the last quarter of 2006, a bumper crop of films have been released featuring interesting, three-dimensional female characters. Among the Oscar possibilities: Kate Winslet as a suburban mom having an affair in Little Children, Meryl Streep as the most fabulously evil boss ever in The Devil Wears Prada, and Renee Zellweger as children’s book author Beatrix Potter in Miss Potter.

Miss Potter

“In other words,” concludes the LA Times, “it’s unlikely that this year’s best actress award will go to the actress playing the protagonist’s wife.” Can it be true?

If you want to take a look at what the members of the Academy might be voting on this year, the Hollywood Reporter recently launched a For Your Consideration Showcase on which studios can ever so delicately promote their star vehicles to Academy voters. So far the site is a bit sparse, but you can check out the trailer for Notes on a Scandal, in which Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench play teachers at St. George’s school. There’s a scandal involved, but it’s not quite a Maedchen in Uniform-type of situation.