Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Actress

November Predictions
Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"
Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"

Other Contenders - Carey Mulligan "Suffragette", Lily Tomlin "Grandma", Blythe Danner "I'll See You In My Dreams", Emily Blunt "Sicario", Maggie Smith "The Lady in the Van", Julianne Moore "Freeheld", Patricia Clarkson "Learning to Drive", Charlize Theron "Mad Max: Fury Road", Sandra Bullock "Our Brand is Crisis", Melissa McCarthy "Spy", Cate Blanchett "Truth", Meryl Streep "Ricki and the Flash", Bel Powley "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", Helen Mirren "Woman in Gold", Sally Field "Hello, My Name is Doris", Julia Roberts "Secret In Their Eyes", Kitana Kiki Rodriguez "Tangerine", Amy Schumer "Trainwreck", Juliette Binoche "Clouds of Sils Maria", Alicia Vikander "Testament of Youth", Carey Mulligan "Far From the Maddening Crowd", Amy Poehler "Sisters", Tina Fey "Sisters", Amy Poehler "Inside Out", Sarah Silverman "I Smile Back", Greta Gerwig "Mistress America", Jennifer Lawrence "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2", Lily James "Cinderella", Naomi Watts "While We're Young"

Commentary - After several years of not being able to find five women the Academy would want to vote for, this race looks like it could be even more competitive than the Best Actor race, and it is refreshing indeed. Brie Larson is way out front for her powerful performance in Room, although Saoirse Ronan, and most likely Jennifer Lawrence will be right on her heels. Cate Blanchett still feels like a safe bet for Carol, which is finally opening to more audiences, and should continue to do well with critics. The final slot seems tricky at the moment. Carey Mulligan has been there, but Suffragette's buzz has lessened significantly in the last month or so. Lily Tomlin is still in there, and could get a big boost next week at the Indie Spirits. But she has a lot of veterans like herself knocking on that last slot. Blythe Danner is getting a huge push for I'll See You In My Dreams, Maggie Smith hopes to get going with a Globe nod for The Lady in the Van, and then there is the magnificent Meryl Streep. Even though Ricki and the Flash was a disappointment, she is still Meryl Streep. I actually think another veteran could surprise here. When Charlotte Rampling got a surprise SAG nod for Restless a couple of years ago (which eventually led to an Emmy nomination), it proved that she is a beloved veteran among her peers. I think she will do well with the Brits, and may end up with a BAFTA nod, and I think both critics and older Academy voters are going to really eat up 45 Years, and her performance. There is also Patricia Clarkson, Charlize Theron's magnificent performance in Mad Max, Julianne Moore, Bel Powely, Juliette Binoche, and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. Finally, while funny rarely does well with Academy voters between Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Naomi Watts, Greta Gerwig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Sandra Bullock, they should be paying more attention.

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