Sunday, January 21, 2018

Oscar Predictions: Best Actress in a Leading Role

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23rd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep

This year’s locks: Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan

Very likely: Margot Robbie

Possible: Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, Judi Dench, Vicky Krieps

Unlikely: Annette Bening

The rundown: This race is pretty set in terms of its four frontrunners: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) will all compete for the win. I can’t imagine why Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) would be snubbed at this point. Then we get to the remaining three: Meryl Streep (The Post), whose film I don’t think will do as well as initially expected, Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game), whose film may do better than expected, and Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul), whose film may not be nominated at all. Chastain has been close to a nomination in recent years for films like “A Most Violent Year” which then hasn’t materialized, and Dench was actually nominated for this role on her first try back in 1997 for “Mrs. Brown.” I give the edge to Streep, who has a whopping twenty nominations and has managed to get recognized for films like “Florence Foster Jenkins” and “August: Osage County” in very competitive years. After seeing her film, I feel like Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) poses a threat, and she would be a welcome surprise if her film is embraced. Annette Bening (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) would be a shock given that she’s barely popped up anywhere this awards season.

One possible crazy scenario: People would go nuts if Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) was announced as a nominee. I don’t see it as possible, but how cool would that be?

Forecasted winner: I think that McDormand can pull it off, but it’s a tight three-way race.

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