Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Festival Predictions: Best Actress

Pre-Festival Predictions
Annette Bening "20th Century Women"
Viola Davis "Fences"
Jennifer Lawrence "Passengers"
Ruth Negga "Loving"
Emma Stone "La La Land"

Other Contenders - Amy Adams "Nocturnal Animals", Amy Adams "Arrival", Meryl Streep "Florence Foster Jenkins", Jessica Chastain "Miss Sloane", Taraji P. Henson "Hidden Figures", Alicia Vikander "The Light Between Oceans", Marion Cotillard "Allied", Emily Blunt "The Girl on the Train", Sally Field "Hello My Name is Doris", Susan Sarandon "The Meddler", Arielle Holmes "American Honey", Rosamund Pike "A United Kingdom", Rachel Weisz "Denial", Isabelle Huppert "Elle", Ellen DeGeneres "Finding Dory", Cate Blanchett "Weightless", Shirley MacLaine "Wild Oats", Madina Nalwanga "Queen of Katwe", Rebecca Hall "Christine", Michelle Williams "Certain Women", Rosamund Pike "HHhH", Felicity Jones "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", Kate Winslet "The Dressmaker", Renee Zellweger "Bridget Jones's Baby", Hailee Steinfeld "The Edge of Seventeen", Lily Collins "Rules Don't Apply"

Commentary - Can Meryl Streep do it again? Usually Meryl is an easy voter for Academy members. She is always great, always better than her film, and usually, this race is not strong enough to push her out. I think she could easily get nominated for Florence Foster Jenkins, and deserve it. But, I still think that her co-star Hugh Grant outshone her on screen, and the competition this year, if everything goes according to plan, is much stiffer than her more recent nominations. For example, my top five don't include her. I have Viola Davis, who is owed an Oscar Meryl stole for her, and this time she is in a role that has already won her a Tony. I have Oscar sensation Jennifer Lawrence who will have plenty of screen time opposite Chris Pratt in Passengers, a film I think will do really well. I have Ruth Negga in a role that got raves out of Cannes in Loving. I have Annette Bening in a baity project, and she could the one that trips Viola up, because of the bunch she is the most overdue. Finally, Emma Stone crossed the threshold with Birdman, and La La Land looks fantastic. That leaves out Meryl, that also leaves out Amy Adams, because I can't decide which film will be the bigger player. If either lands well, she's in. I'm leaving out Jessica Chastain, in a powerful role, Taraji P. Henson in an Oscar bait film, last year's winner in Supporting Alicia Vikander, previous winners Marion Cotillard, Sally Field, Susan Sarandon, Shirley MacLaine, Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger. I'm leaving out previous nominees like Felicity Jones, Rosamond Pike, Michelle Williams, Hailee Steinfeld, and one who should have a nomination right now Emily Blunt. Then there are the young starlets like Lily Collins, Arielle Holmes, and newcomer Madina Nalwanga. And then we come back to Meryl. Can she do it? As always, we'll have to wait and see...

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