Viola Davis "Fences"
Naomie Harris "Moonlight"
Nicole Kidman "Lion"
Octavia Spencer "Hidden Figures"
Michelle Williams "Manchester By the Sea"
Other Contenders - Greta Gerwig "20th Century Women", Janelle Monae "Hidden Figures", Lily Gladstone "Certain Women", Molly Shannon "Other People", Helen Mirren "Eye in the Sky"
Commentary - This race has quickly closed ranks with the Globes and SAG matching up 5/5. We knew the four: Davis, Harris, Kidman, and Williams. Those four seem safe, as their films and their performances continue to make a mark. That fifth slot has been in flux for a while now, but it looks like a consensus is building. Greta Gerwig, the talented young star on the verge of a breakthrough, seemed like a solid contender, and with a Critics Choice nomination, is still in the fray. Molly Shannon is the front runner at the Independent Spirit Awards, and Lily Gladstone has managed some surprising upsets at some of the regional critics groups over bigger competition. Recently, I had landed on Janelle Monae. The folks behind Hidden Figures were pushing her over her co-stars, and momentum and precursors seemed to signal her rise. Then the Globes and SAG reigned in and another consensus emerged. It was not Monae, but previous winner Octavia Spencer that emerged as the fifth slot. We'll see what happens with BAFTA, they might throw in an interesting nominee and completely mix things up, say a Helen Mirren. But for the next three weeks, these are the five.