The competition: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Previous winners: Alicia Vikander, Patricia Arquette, Lupita N’yongo, Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo, Mo’Nique, Penelope Cruz
My winner: To be announced soon!
The facts: This category has been pretty consistent all awards season long. Davis, who has two previous nominations, has won just about everything and should have nothing standing in her way to get to the Oscar. Spencer won on her only nomination in 2011, and Kidman, who has three previous nominations, was rewarded in 2002. Williams has been nominated three times before, and this is Harris’ first mention. They’re both strong parts of films that will likely win awards for other actors in the cast. All five of these films are up for Best Picture.
Who should win: Davis was undeniably good, but my enthusiasm is behind Williams, who was excellent in my top film of the year. They’re honestly all good choices, though I would have picked Janelle Monae over Spencer for “Hidden Figures.”
Who will win: There’s no way this won’t be Davis.