Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actress in a Leading Role

The competition: Glenn Close’s closeted waiter (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis’ trailblazing maid (The Help), Rooney Mara’s hacker (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady), and Michelle Williams’ Marilyn Monroe (My Week with Marilyn).

Previous winners: Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Helen Mirren, Reese Witherspoon
Who should win: Streep
Who will win: This category is tricky since Viola Davis managed to win the SAG Award after Streep won the Golden Globe. In the 18-year history of the SAG Awards, only once has the eventual Best Actress winner won only the SAG and not the Golden Globe (Halle Berry in 2001). Conversely, there have been several false positives – Jodie Foster for “Nell,” Annette Bening for “American Beauty,” and Meryl Streep for “Doubt” – that still lost to the Globe winner after a SAG win. The important thing to remember is that none of these films has much support elsewhere this year. Mara’s movie missed out in several key categories but still managed a few technical bids, “The Help” scored a Best Picture mention and a few acting nods, and the other films placed only for acting and makeup. Close’s performance didn’t garner enough buzz, so I think she’s out for sure (please note, DB). That leaves it to the other four. I think Streep, who hasn’t won since 1982, is out in front, but Davis is definitely nipping at her heels. Williams could charm voters with her impression, and Mara could sway them for different reasons. This is the acting category that is least secure.


Richter Scale said...

Something else to think about. Remember Sean Penn vs. Mickey Rourke in 2008? Penn won the Critics Choice and the SAG, Rourke won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, and the Oscar eventually went to Penn. This year, Viola Davi won the Critics Choice and SAG, and Meryl Streep won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA. This is why I'm leaning toward Davis (also because I believe the box office and Best Picture nomination for The Help will help her). There can always be an upset, but I'm betting on Davis.

Movies with Abe said...

Good point - I wrote about Penn in my Best Actor post. My thinking is that "The Help," missing out its screenplay nod and any other mentions, just isn't as beloved by Oscar voters as SAG. Maybe "The Iron Lady" isn't either?