July Nomination Predictions
Amy Adams "Big Eyes"
Jessica Chastain "A Most Violent Year"
Meryl Streep "Into the Woods"
Michelle Williams "Suite Francaise"
Reese Witherspoon "Wild"
Other Contenders - Rosemund Pike "Gone Girl", Julianne Moore "Maps to the Stars", Emily Blunt "Into the Woods", Hilary Swank "The Homesman", Cate Blanchett "Carol", Emma Stone "Untitled Cameron Crowe Project", Marion Cotillard "Macbeth", Jessica Chastain "Miss Julie", Jessica Chastain "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby", Angelina Jolie "Maleficent", Helen Mirren "The Hundred-Foot Journey", Shailene Woodley "The Fault in Our Stars", Scarlett Johansson "Under the Skin", Scarlett Johansson "Lucy", Quvenzhane Wallis "Annie", Charlize Theron "Dark Places", Gugu Mbatha-Raw "Belle", Kiera Knightley "Begin Again", Rooney Mara "Trash", Shailene Woodley "White Bird in a Blizzard", Emma Stone "Magic in the Moonlight", Jenny Slate "Obvious Child"
Commentary - It appears that Jessica Chastain and Meryl Streep could go lead instead of supporting, although anything can happen in this race, so once again I warn all of us that these are really early predictions, and until some of these categories are decided, we have to be flexible with our predictions. But if they go lead, I think both of them are huge contenders. Streep gets nominated pretty much on a regular basis, although Into the Woods is such a big question mark. And Chastain has already racked up two nominations in her short career, and I personally think (as do a lot of folks), that A Most Violent Year could be the breakthrough film for JC Chandor at the Oscars. Amy Adams is so freakin' overdue for an Oscar, but Tim Burton is really hit and miss. If Big Eyes lives up to the hype, this could finally be her year. Even if it is isn't as good as we hope, she could still ride a wave to at least a nomination, and maybe a win, simply based on the fact that it is about time. Reese Witherspoon returns to this year's race in several films, but I think the one most of are looking to is the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Wild. It is really meaty (kind of like a James Franco in 127 Hours or Tom Hanks in Cast Away), and when she gets a great park, she tends to really shine. Plus it is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, whose Dallas Buyers Club just earned Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Oscars. Finally, I am currently going with Michelle Williams, who is a popular actress among voters (does anyone else remember that it wasn't that long ago that she was Jen on Dawson's Creek? I remind myself of that sometimes because it is so awesome to see how far she has come as an actor). She is once again in the hot seat with Suite Francaise, which looks like a great opportunity for her up against a veteran like Kristin Scott Thomas. For now, I am sticking with five previous winners/nominees, only because most of the other contenders have too many big question marks right now. Will Rosemund Pike, Emily Blunt, and Julianne Moore stay in lead or go supporting? Will Cameron Crowe return to form paving the way for Emma Stone to earn a way overdue first nomination? Will voters embrace The Homesman despite a mixed opening reception? Will they go for Cate Blanchett again so soon after another win? Will upcoming projects such as The Hundred-Foot Journey, Annie, Dark Places, and Macbeth yield positive results for previous favorites Helen Mirren, Quvenzhane Wallis, Charlize Theron, and Marion Cotillard? Finally, will early favorites such as Shailene Woodley, Angelina Jolie, and Jenny Slate overcome the fall onslaught and remain contenders? All these questions, and plenty more will be answered in good time.