It now seems more than probable that, come Oscar time, Julianne Moore will pick up the award for best actress for her role in Still Alice as a professor of linguistics with early onset Alzheimer's disease.
Not only has she already won both a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice award for it; the best of her competition, Marion Cotillard, is unlikely to be rewarded by an academy still so resistant to foreign films (Cotillard is nominated for her unerringly convincing performance as a woman desperate to hold on to her job in the Belgian film Two Days, One Night).
But when Moore ascends to the stage to accept her prize, what will she say? Will she limit herself to gushing her thanks to her directors, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, her co-stars Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth, her darling husband and children?
Or will she take the time also to note that when Still Alice arrived at the Toronto film festival last September, it did not even have a distributor? To remind the world that for all its success, Still Alice is a shameful anomaly as well as a triumph, simply by dint of the fact that at its heart is a middle-aged woman?
I hope she chooses to speak up, just as Cate Blanchett did in 2014, when she won for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Like most people, I was disappointed to find no women gracing the list of those up for best director when the nominations were announced.
But I was also prepared for this. More women have made it to space than have been nominated for a best director Oscar.
No, far more enraging to me was the realisation that only one in eight of the films nominated for best picture had produced a best actress nominee (Felicity Jones for her role as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything), a state of affairs that tells you pretty much all you need to know about the gender bias of most "big" films these days.
What to see this weekend? Venture into your local multiplex and you'll find almost nothing but the testosterone-heavy fare so beloved of the academy: choose from American Sniper (about a US Navy Seal), Foxcatcher (thick-necked Olympic wrestlers) or Whiplash (in which a bullying music teacher acts like a drill sergeant throughout).
Sure, I liked Birdman a lot when I saw it the other day. But all the same, I couldn't help but notice that the only time its female stars, Andrea Riseborough and Naomi Watts, appear on screen minus Michael Keaton, Ed Norton et al, they're engaged in a (wholly gratuitous) lesbian clinch.
The honourable exception in this macho roll call is Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon as a woman who finds new peace walking 1500km alone (she's also up for best actress). Best not get too excited, though: the film was made by Witherspoon's own production company, Pacific Standard, an outfit she set up in 2012 when she realised, at the ripe old age of 36, that the big parts were no longer coming her way.
In the 1930s and 1940s, it was unremarkable to find a woman as the star of a motion picture.
Back then, before Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, male actors were lucky to get even equal billing with the likes of Barbara Stanwyck; far more often, they were cast as her support. And while Stanwyck was undoubtedly gorgeous, she was never typecast. She was allowed to be funny (The Lady Eve), clever (You Belong to Me), tough (So Big!), even thoroughly bad (Double Indemnity). That was the point of her. She was an actress, after all.
We like to patronise the 50s as an unimaginably conservative decade, a time of too-tight girdles, lipsticked smiles and long days in the kitchen. But on screen the women marched on, pausing only to adjust their hemlines. The only film ever to have received four female acting Oscar nominations is All About Eve (1950). The 50s also brought us A Streetcar Named Desire (Vivien Leigh in Oscar-winning form as Blanche DuBois), The African Queen (Katharine Hepburn doing her full prim and spiky) and How to Marry a Millionaire (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall).
It's impossible to imagine such movies, or even ones vaguely like them, getting beyond the dispiriting meeting stage now. Where would Bradley Cooper fit in? What part would Steve Carell play, with or without a prosthetic nose? I read somewhere that Nicole Kidman bought the rights to How to Marry a Millionaire, the better that she might remake it for a new generation. But that was in 2007.
Cut to 2014 and Kidman is reduced to playing a taxidermist in Paddington. Doubtless, Hollywood is a competitive place, especially around award season. But Julianne Moore might like to think of Kidman and all the others as she adjusts her Tom Ford dress come Monday (NZT). Failing that, she might like to picture you and me, picking up the cinema listings and then putting them down again in favour of another night in.