Post Venice/Telluride/Toronto Predictions
Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"
Carey Mulligan "Suffragette"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"
Other Contenders - Cate Blanchett "Truth", Meryl Streep "Ricki and the Flash", Lily Tomlin "Grandma", Maggie Smith "The Lady in the Van", Charlotte Rampling "45 Years", Blythe Danner "I'll See You in My Dreams", Sally Field "Hello, My Name is Doris", Julianne Moore "Freeheld", Sandra Bullock "Our Brand is Crisis", Emily Blunt "Sicario", Julia Roberts "Secret in Their Eyes", Marion Cotillard "Macbeth", Charlize Theron "Mad Max: Fury Road", Angelina Jolie "By the Sea", Sarah Silverman "I Smile Back", Helen Mirren "Woman in Gold", Melissa McCarthy "Spy", Amy Schumer "Trainwreck", Bel Powley "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", Jennifer Lawrence "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2", Drew Barrymore "Miss You Already", Juliette Binoche "Clouds of Sils Maria", Emma Stone "Irrational Man", Greta Gerwig "Mistress America", Alicia Vikander "Testament of Youth", Carey Mulligan "Far From the Maddening Crowd"
Commentary - For the first time in a while, this race is truly deep, and is truly a race to watch, which is a welcomed change from recent years where it seemed like voters had to scrape to get to five nominees. At the top of the pack are young stars with big roles in potential Best Picture contenders. After being virtually ignored by the big awards for her stunning role in Short Term 12, Brie Larson might finally get some recognition for her stunning performance in Room, a quiet, yet potent Best Picture potential. Two previous nominees could also return to the fold. While this week's controversy might set them back (a ridiculous controversy based on a misunderstanding that was completely blown out of proportion), but Carey Mulligan, who has been putting out outstanding work since her nod for An Education in 2009, still has a great shot at nomination #2. The other is Saoirse Ronan. Brooklyn is one of those I think will play well, but it might struggle to get in to some of these categories. That being said, reviews suggest that no matter what happens with the film overall, Ronan is going to be a major player going forward. Cate Blanchett could return quickly after winning for Blue Jasmine with two different roles. I think of the two that Carol is still her safe bet, as it looks like the bigger contender overall across the categories. Finally, sight unseen, it is probably safe to say that Jennifer Lawrence is going to be magnetic in David O. Russell's latest, Joy. I will reserve a slot for her until I hear/see otherwise. That is just the top five, which is impressive. There is a whole slew of potentials waiting just on the outside. The veterans this year are definitely making a comeback. Ricki and the Flash may have bombed, but Meryl Streep is, well, Meryl Streep. Blythe Danner's I'll See You In My Dreams was the first screener sent to voters this season, hoping to get her beautiful performance recognized before the madness descends on voters. Sally Field is a favorite, and is getting rave reviews for Hello, My Name is Doris, Charlotte Rampling could get British support for 45 Years, Julianne Moore shines in a mediocre Freeheld, Sandra Bullock shines in a mediocre Our Brand is Crisis, Julia Roberts looks great in Secret in Their Eyes, Angelina Jolie could strike gold with By the Sea, and Marion Cotillard is getting raves for Macbeth. I would also like to personally throw in the three performances from this summer: Charlize Theron, Melissa McCarthy, and Amy Schumer into the mix, because genre barriers are tiring, and great performances, period, should be recognized.