Saturday, March 6, 2021

Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, March 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees: Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Saiorse Ronan, Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger

This year’s locks: Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, Frances McDormand

Very likely: Vanessa Kirby

Possible: Andra Day, Zendaya, Amy Adams

Unlikely: Sophia Loren, Nicole Beharie, Sidney Flanigan, Rosamund Pike

The rundown: This category is an interesting one because four of the nominees seem completely set and the fifth one is – or was – more up in the air. There’s no scenario in which Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) don’t make the cut. The same goes for Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), though her past awards history isn’t quite as formidable. It’s conceivable that Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) could be left off because no one is talking about her movie, but I think she’s safe. Even after she won the Golden Globe, I would have said that Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who missed out on a SAG bid, was not going to get nominated, but then I went ahead and did some research for a Globe-win-no-SAG-yes-Oscar piece for AwardsWatch, and it’s overwhelmingly true that such individuals DO end up getting nominated. I would have loved to see Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie) get the fifth spot, but she doesn’t have much to suggest buzz aside from a Critics Choice nomination. Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy) did end up on the SAG list, but that mention feels like Hilary Swank’s non-Oscar inclusion for “Conviction.” Sophia Loren (The Life Ahead) might be looking better if she had scored a Globe nomination or her film had been submitted by Italy in the Best International Feature category. Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth) and Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always) wouldn’t be shocking choices, though they’re not likely to garner enough support at this point. It would be even more startling as her Globe victory, but Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot) obviously impressed some people and shouldn’t be counted out entirely.

For your consideration: I was blown away by Clare Dunne (Herself) in a movie that doesn’t seem to be Amazon’s number one campaign interest. Watch my interview with her here – I wish she had more of a shot.

Forecasted winner: I’m very tentatively picking Mulligan though I think that McDormand or even Day might be likelier.

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