First 2020 Predictions
Amy Adams "The Woman in the Window"
Michelle Dockery "Downton Abbey"
Cynthia Erivo "Harriet"
Natalie Portman "Lucy in the Sky"
Saoirse Ronan "Little Women"
Other Contenders - Meryl Streep "The Laundromat", Alfre Woodard "Clemency", Cate Blanchett "Where'd You Go Bernadette?", Awkwafina "The Farewell", Penelope Cruz "Pain & Glory", Charlize Theron "Long Shot", Emma Thompson "Late Night", Mindy Kaling "Late Night", Jodie Turner-Smith "Queen & Slim", Kristen Stewart "Against All Enemies", Anne Hathaway "The Last Thing He Wanted", Thomasin McKenzie "Jojo Rabbit", Nicole Kidman "Untitled Roger Ailes Project", Charlize Theron "Untitled Roger Ailes Project", Lupita Nyong'o "Us", Paula Beer “Transit”, Juliette Binoche “High Life”, Brie Larson “Captain Marvel”, Julianne Moore “Gloria Bell”, Elisabeth Moss “Her Smell”, Mary Kay Place “Diane”, Tessa Thompson “Little Woods”, Daisy Ridley "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", Melissa McCarthy "The Kitchen", Diane Keaton "Poms", Yara Shahidi "The Sun is Also a Star", Elizabeth Banks "Brightburn", Kaitlyn Dever "Booksmart", Beanie Feldstein "Booksmart", Octavia Spencer "Ma", Helen Mirren "The Good Liar", Mia Wasikowska "Bergman Island", Renee Zellweger "Judy"
Commentary - After last year's dramatic finish, I am intrigued as to how this category will play out. My top five are pretty straight forward. Amy Adams seems to continually get nominated, and maybe this time she can actually win. The book by AJ Finn as a smash, and the material should give her plenty to chew on. Cynthia Erivo has already gotten flack for playing Harriet Tubman, because she is British, but if her recent history suggests itself, naysayers will be silenced by the power of her performance. If she wins the Oscar, she will join the EGOT club (she won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for The Color Purple's revival a few years ago). Lucy in the Sky is the type of material that could earn an actor an Oscar, and Natalie Portman has made a living playing damaged people. Little Women is Greta Gerwig's followup to her smash Lady Bird. Last time Ronan worked with her, she earned an Oscar nomination. I could see her repeating. Finally, I expect Downton Abbey to be a smash hit, and Michelle Dockery was always a favorite among Emmy voters. I expect Oscar voters to respond accordingly. Yes, that leaves Meryl Streep on the outside. I am predicting her in Supporting, and leaving her out here, well aware that could switch, or she could get both. She is Meryl Streep after all. Beyond those five, there are Sundance favorites Alfre Woodard, Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, and Awkwafina, all of whom earned rave reviews. Where'd You Go Bernadette? looked like it was out of contention, then it got moved to early fall, and suddenly Cate Blanchett is in play. Other previous Oscar winners Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Brie Larson, Juliette Binoche, Lupita Nyong'o, Julianne Moore, Octavia Spencer, Helen Mirren, and Renee Zellweger hope to return to the race. I am also looking out for breakout talents Thomasin McKenzie, Jodie Turner-Smith, Yara Shahidi, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, as well as more established stars like Kristen Stewart, Mia Wasikowska, Elisabeth Moss, Elizabeth Banks, Daisy Ridley, and Tessa Thompson, who are looking for their first shot at Oscar gold.