So earlier I updated my Best Actress predictions because I figured that Julianne Moore would be out of the running for her performance in Maps To The Stars. But Sony Pictures Classics just acquired her other film to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival: Still Alice. So, I guess I could still put down Shailene Woodley as a dark horse for Fault In Our Stars and potentially put Moore back in the actual list, making it look like this:
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Jessica Chastain, Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
So far, I know Reese Witherspoon is in strong contention for her role in Wild and an apparent lock for a nomination which would allow her to recapture her former Oscar glory after a string of flops (How Do You Know, Rendition, etc.) and little-seen indies (Devil's Knot) that she took part in after her Oscar win for Best Actress for Walk The Line back in '05. There is also perennially nominated and 0-5 Amy Adams to look out for since she has the Weinstein biopic Big Eyes under her belt and Jessica Chastain, who has a string of films set for release this year, including The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. But one trend I've been noticing is that we are seeing plenty of actresses in contention that haven't won before or are overdue in both the Lead and Supporting categories: Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts, etc. I would've said Viola Davis since she has Get On Up but that film received such a lukewarm reception and did "Eh" at the box office. Originally, I had Michelle Williams for Suite Francaise, but who knows if that is even coming out soon.
The Oscar race is usually quite unpredictable and typically it is the festivals like Toronto and New York that are strong indicators as to who will be a strong contender. I mean, at last year's Toronto Film Festival, it seemed like Michael Fassbender would be a lock to win BSA for 12 Years A Slave until Dallas Buyers Club screened and all the buzz went to Jared Leto, who eventually won and cleaned up very well in the awards circuit. I'm sure that even when Cate Blanchett was said to be a lock for Best Actress for Blue Jasmine, another actress could've stolen her thunder because her film came out later in the year. Now that I think about it, I don't necessarily like to say a particular film or actor is a lock to be nominated for a major category since come Oscar nomination day, anything is possible. Remember last year when Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were largely expected to be nominated for Best Director, yet they got snubbed. Even when an actor has almost every precursor nod under their belt, they could be swapped for somebody else. In fact, if you get nominated for everything except a SAG, then they could easily swap you for the actor that took your spot at the SAGs and that is the actor's guild. (i.e., Michael Fassbender taken off from Best Actor category for Shame in favor of Demian Bichir for A Better Life, Andrew Garfield snubbed for Best Supporting Actor for The Social Network in favor of John Hawkes for Winter's Bone, etc.) So, I would say, when it comes to the actors who get nominated by the different awards shows, pay close attention to the SAG nominees until Oscar nomination day since they are usually strong indicators as to who will actually get in.
So, that was another update of the Best Actress category and my reminder of how unpredictable the Oscar race is. Hope you enjoyed this post and as always, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading and here is to a great awards season!