1. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women: Director Mike Mills recently guided overdue veteran Christopher Plummer to an Oscar win for Beginners. Depending on which category Bening goes in, she should be building a case for an eventual win since she is currently 0-4.
2. Laura Linney, Sully: Supportive wife alert! If the Supporting Actress category has taught us anything, they LOVE the supportive wife role. If you ask Jennifer Connelly and Alicia Vikander, they'll tell you. If you add Linney's current 0-3 record and the fact she is working on a Clint Eastwood biopic, she's got the right recipe for Nomination #4. However, we'll see how big her role is.
3. Rachel Weisz, The Light Between Oceans: Weisz is set to have a banner 2016: She's got the dystopian sci-fi The Lobster, Deep Water with Colin Firth, Complete Unknown opposite Michael Shannon, the British Holocaust drama Denial, and of course, The Light Between Oceans. Judging by the trailer, where she plays the grieving mother of a child believed to be dead, she looks like she'll have some pretty heavy 'clip' scenes. Plus, she's already got an Oscar under her belt in this category. That never hurts.
4. Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: I have a feeling some are fighting a gag reflex as I bring up the possibility of the moniker "Academy Award nominee Kristen Stewart." But i'm telling you guys that it's coming. She received strong critical notices for Clouds of Sils Maria last year and this year, is working with the likes of not just Ang Lee but Woody freaking Allen. I'm telling you, it's coming. It just depends on how big a role she has.
5. Laura Dern, Wilson/The Founder: After surprising us all with her nomination in this category for Wild, Laura Dern is obviously still fresh in voters minds and has both Wilson opposite Woody Harrelson and the biopic The Founder opposite Michael Keaton where he plays the founder of McDonald's. Which could she get in for or will she cancel herself out?
Next In Line:
Lupita Nyong'o, Queen of Katwe: Which category will she go in, I wonder?
Rosamund Pike, A United Kingdom: See Lupita Nyong'o above.
Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea: Previous nominee in a critically acclaimed film bought at Sundance.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, LBJ: Afterglow nomination for playing a former First Lady, perhaps?
Aja Naomi King, Birth Of A Nation: Received standout notices for her performance. If the other actors have a hard time making it in, she could be the benefactor amongst the ensemble.