There has to be a newbie, right?
I keep coming back to this, especially since all of the big ticket films coming out this year with a female protagonist star an Oscar winner, or at the very least an Oscar nominee. The deluge of previous contenders has me wondering just what is going to happen with this category. I thought that newbies were required (exaggeration) until last year’s supporting lineups changed all that, and yet Lead Actress last year could have easily gone 5/5 with previous nominees and yet they still managed to squeeze in TWO newbies, so I’m wondering just what is going to happen this year. Right now, I’m betting on one newbie, and which means that I had to cut Julie Delpy from my predictions. Still, I think she could wind up surfacing later in the year.
Then we have all the previous nominees and winners who are coming to the forefront in a severe way. Weinstein is backing a few, and while the rest of the world seems to think that Kidman is a done deal, I don’t see her happening right now. Not this year, with these contenders. Winslet has some good ink, and AMPAS clearly likes her, but she’s said to be very reserved, and the project sounds so soap opera to me! I also wonder what is going to happen with Bullock this year. She has the potential to be considered the whole of her film, or completely overshadowed by her director. It could go either way, really.
For now, I’m sticking with my predictions from July:
1. Meryl Streep/August: Osage County
She’s Meryl Streep. This nomination was solidified the day that the project was announced, and had she not just won for ‘The Iron Lady’ two years ago, I’d say that she was locked up for the win. Still, those who have seen it say she’ll be hard to beat come Oscar, so I’d say that the nomination at least is a guarantee.
2. Cate Blanchett/Blue Jasmine
Woody Allen has done it again, and the comparisons to Vivian Leigh’s ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ turn don’t hurt. Blanchett is an Oscar darling, and many feel that she’s in need of a Lead Oscar, so I can totally see this going the distance and proving to be an actual threat for the win.
3. Judi Dench/Philomena
I’ve said since January that this was our Oscar winner right here. It’s Judi Dench, and this character and story are ridiculously baity. Besides, this is Steven Frears, and the Academy likes him. Weinstein also snatched this up based on a mere clip, and that trailer promises a relaxed Dench (so delightful in ‘Marigold’ last year) with serious dramatic touches (TEARS!).
4. Amy Adams/American Hustle
Amy Adams, everyone’s favorite bridesmaid, is ON FIRE in the trailer for ‘American Hustle’. The only reason I don’t have her up higher is the debate about her placement, which I think will continue until the film is screened. That said, she works well with O. Russell and she looks exceptional here, so I’m betting that she’s in it to win it.
5. Adele Exarchopoulos/Blue is the Warmest Color
I’ll say this now, if this were an English language performances, with those kinds of reviews, Exarchopoulos would be ‘Jennifer Lawrenceing’ her way to the podium next year, but she’s French and the film is French and despite the rousing reviews, she’ll have an uphill battle for a nomination in this kind of field. Still, she’ll most likely slay with the critics’ awards, so I’m assuming she gets that coveted newbie spot this year.