Monday, December 19, 2016

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Guild Predictions - Best Actress

Pre-Guild Predictions
Amy Adams "Arrival"
Isabelle Huppert "Elle"
Natalie Portman "Jackie"
Emma Stone "La La Land"
Meryl Streep "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Other Contenders - Annette Bening "20th Century Women", Ruth Negga "Loving", Emily Blunt "The Girl on the Train", Hailee Steinfeld "Edge of Seventeen", Jessica Chastain "Miss Sloane", Taraji P. Henson "Hidden Figures"

Commentary - One of the biggest shockers of the SAG nominations, one that was overshadowed by the La La Land snub, was the exclusion of Annette Bening from the nominations. I thought she was a lock, for SAG and for Oscar. Now, unless BAFTA puts her back in, I honestly think that she is going to be the big causality in this brutal Best Actress race. If SAG didn't nominate her, I don't know if the Academy will. All of that being said, I don't see Emily Blunt's shocking nomination translating to the Oscars. That film is just not well-liked enough across the board, period. Portman and Stone are in, and are probably the two battling it out for the win. Streep and Adams were on my bubble, but they are both so well-liked, and this SAG hurdle is a huge one for both of them. So I'm thinking, right now at least, that these four are pretty solid going into the holidays. That leaves one slot. Bening could reclaim it, Ruth Negga should be in the running, and Steinfeld and Chastain managed Golden Globe nominations. I also think that Hidden Figures is starting to hit its stride, so do not discount Taraji P. Henson, although I think SAG would have found room for her if they really wanted to. I think that Isabelle Huppert is going to pull the Marion Cotillard/Emmanuelle Riva/Charlotte Rampling "veteran European actress" slot that has become a wild card in recent years. Those years were a lot weaker, so they reached for better performances than the ones provided by SAG. But then again, none of those actress (with the exception of maybe Riva) had the type of buzz, critical attention, and momentum as Huppert does this year. I also think BAFTA will easily nominate her, giving her a nice boost right as ballots are ending for the Oscars.

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