It’s a good day for Kentucky actresses

Jennifer Lawrence arriving Sunday to collect her latest trophy, the Golden Globe for best supporting actress. She's up for the same Oscar this year. © Invision/AP photo by Jordan Strauss.

Jennifer Lawrence won a Golden Globe on Sunday for her role in American Hustle. She was nominated Thursday for an Oscar.   Invision/AP photo by Jordan Strauss.

Today began with news that Louisville actress Jennifer Lawrence has become a three-time Oscar nominee, with a fairly reasonable shot at at the rare feat of becoming a two-time winner in consecutive years.

Lawrence’s performance in American Hustle earned her a best supporting actress nod that will put her in a more competitive field than the best actress crowd she triumphed over last year for her turn in Silver Linings Playbook. She already has a Golden Globe in the same category for the same performance against the same field, which has to make her the front-runner.

It’s her third nomination in four years, so Kentucky can now lay claim to a bona fide Oscar perennial. And to an extent, she should be able to continue the run, because given her
A-list status and box office cachet (thank you, Hunger Games), Lawrence is certainly getting first refusal for many of the plum roles now.

One-time Lexingtonian Allison Miller, who still has a lot of family in town, stars in Devil's Due, her first leading role in a feature film. © 20th Century Fox photo.

Onetime Lexingtonian Allison Miller, who has a lot of family in town, stars in Devil’s Due, her first leading role in a feature film.  20th Century Fox photo.

And today will end with the opening of Devil’s Due, onetime Lexingtonian Allison Miller’s first leading role in a feature film. Judging by the trailers, no one is going to mistake this spawn-of-Satan horror flick for Oscar bait. But leads in feature films aren’t just given away, and if Miller makes a strong impression with this film, and if her next one, There’s Always Woodstock, gets some traction on the indie circuit, we could be looking at the ascendance of another Kentucky star. We’ll have to wait for word on Devil’s Due, because it hasn’t been screened for critics or anyone else yet.

Regardless of what the scribes say, I am willing to bet that Devil’s Due will end the weekend No. 1 at the box office. Horror flicks, a genre with a loyal theater-going audience, have developed a track record for besting otherwise middling fare that comes out between the holidays and the start of spring/summer blockbusters.

So come Sunday, Kentucky might be able to claim one of the most honored actresses in recent film history and the lead actress in the No. 1 movie in the land. Not bad for a “cultural backwater.”

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