Post Festival Predictions
Greta Gerwig "20th Century Women"
Naomie Harris "Moonlight"
Nicole Kidman "Lion"
Octavia Spencer "Hidden Figures"
Michelle Williams "Manchester By the Sea"
Other Contenders - Elle Fanning "20th Century Women", Janelle Monae "Hidden Figures", Sienna Miller "Live By Night", Elle Fanning "Live By Night", Margo Martindale "The Hollars", Molly Shannon "Other People", Lupita Nyong'o "Queen of Katwe", Kristen Stewart "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk", Laura Linney "Nocturnal Animals", Laura Linney "Sully", Aja Naomi King "The Birth of a Nation", Rooney Mara "Lion", Gugu Mbatha-Raw "Miss Sloane", Julianne Moore "Maggie's Plan", Helen Mirren "Eye in the Sky", Helen Mirren "Collateral Beauty", Keira Knightley "Collateral Beauty", Kate Winslet "Collateral Beauty", Kristen Stewart "Certain Women", Lily Gladstone "Certain Women", Laura Dern "Certain Women", Laura Dern "The Founder", Rose Byrne "The Meddler", Kate Hudson "Deepwater Horizon", Michelle Monaghan "Patriot's Day", Lily Collins "Rules Don't Apply", Lizzy Caplan "Allied"
Commentary - Four of my five contenders are known entities, and all are going into this race strong. Michelle Williams gets a nod every couple of years, and has been riding high on Manchester By the Sea since Sundance. In a year without a clear front runner, this Academy favorite over the last decade, could end up being the one who benefits. Nicole Kidman has a small role, but is effective in Lion. Greta Gerwig, after years of flirting with awards success, might finally find it with 20th Century Women. Naomie Harris is the dark horse to watch for, with her rave reviews from Moonlight. That leaves one slot. I was looking at Kristen Stewart, but Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk, sadly, doesn't look like it's the contender we thought it would be. Elle Fanning could join her co-star for 20th Century Women, and is earning the reviews to do it. Janelle Monae could be yet another singer that crosses over to acting with gusto (think Cher or Jennifer Hudson). Margo Martindale, Molly Shannon, Sienna Miller, Lupita Nyong'o, and Rooney Mara all have big roles. Collateral Beauty has several options, Helen Mirren and Laura Linney have a pair of films each with buzz, Certain Women has three possibilities, and never discount Rose Byrne, Laura Dern, Kate Hudson, Lily Collins, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Julianne Moore, or Lizzy Caplain. Poor Aja Naomi King should be in this race, but Nate Parker's drama looks like it is going to sink the entire film across the board. So I am playing it a bit safe with an unknown contender in the last slot. Sight unseen, I am banking on the great Octavia Spencer, already an Oscar winner, to steal more scenes in Hidden Figures, which has all the makings of an Oscar film, and earn that second nomination.