First 2018 Predictions
Jessica Chastain "Molly's Game"
Isabelle Huppert "Happy End"
Jennifer Lawrence "Mother!"
Emma Stone "Battle of the Sexes"
Meryl Streep "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project"
Other Contenders - Brie Larson "The Glass Castle", Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri", Carey Mulligan "Mudbound", Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water", Sally Hawkins "Maudie", Kate Winslet "The Mountain Between Us", Michelle Pfeiffer "Where is Kyra?", Elle Fanning "Mary Shelley", Judi Dench "Victoria and Abdul", Rooney Mara "Mary Magadalene", Nicole Kidman "The Beguiled", Kirsten Dunst "Woodshock", Elle Fanning "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Gal Gadot "Wonder Woman", Cynthia Nixon "A Quiet Passion", Marion Cotillard "Ismael's Ghost", Mackenize Davis "Tully", Natalie Portman "Annihilation", Raffey Cassidy "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Jennifer Lawrence "Red Sparrow", Alicia Vikander "Submergence", Diane Lane "Felt", Jane Fonda "Our Souls at Night", Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird", Debra Winger "The Lovers", Charlize Theron "Atomic Blonde", Elisabeth Moss "The Square", Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast", Rosamund Pike "A United Kingdom", Kristen Stewart "Personal Shopper", Anne Hathaway "Colossal", Katherine Waterston "Alien: Covenant", Naomi Watts "The Book of Henry", Zoe Kazan "The Big Sick", Aubrey Plaza "Ingrid Goes West", Blake Lively "All I See Is You", Renee Zellweger "Same Kind of Different As Me", Daisy Ridley "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Anna Kendrick "Pitch Perfect 3", Lesley Manville "Phantom Thread"
Commentary - It looks like Best Actress is going to be category for two years in a row, which is awesome because it means there are great roles for women. Emma Stone returns to the race just one year after winning for La La Land, and playing Billie Jean King is Oscar bait. Meryl Streep will star opposite Tom Hanks for the first time, and work with Steven Spielberg. This is a woman who gets nominated for Into the Woods, so a Pentagon Papers film with those two involved seems like a solid Oscar better. Jennifer Lawrence is another favorite, and Aronofsky has already won a actress this award. Jessica Chastain has been off the circuit for a while, but her pairing with Aaron Sorkin might get her back in the race. Finally, after finally cracking the Oscar race, Isabelle Huppert returns as the lead in the new Michael Haneke film. These are the top five for now, but there are plenty of options for Oscar voters, at least early on. Brie Larson could return with The Glass Castle, whose first trailer looks promising. The first trailer for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri looks like it is a real contender, and that Frances McDormand could return to this race for the first time in over a decade. Previous nominees and winners like Carey Mulligan, Sally Hawkins (in two roles), Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Debra Winger, Alicia Vikander, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Lane, Naomi Watts, Jane Fonda, and Renee Zellweger, all have big projects that could return them to the race. There are some smaller films with big roles from Raffey Cassidy, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Elisabeth Moss, Aubrey Plaza, Zoe Kazan, and Lesley Manville, all talented actresses who have yet to crack the Oscar race yet. Finally, don't forget the genre folks like Emma Watson, Charlize Theron, Daisy Ridley, Anna Kendrick, Anne Hathaway, and Katherine Waterston.