Another day and another batch of newly minted predictions hit the shelves. If you didn't notice, I already had to update the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor predictions after overlooking the End of Watch boys yesterday, but today it's all about the ladies.
Between my two lists of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress contenders I have 23 women. There are others I could have added to pad each list and make it a little bigger, but I just don't see most of the fringe candidates having much of a chance at all so is it really worth adding them?
I'll let you decide. I'll mention a few of the outsiders in my comments for each category below and you tell me if I'm naively leaving someone off the list or if you agree and it's rather obvious who really has the best shot in these races.
I really don't think there is much question as to who is going to win the Oscar for Best Actress this year. Yes, it's too early to call, but at this time I feel quite certain especially considering of the 11 contenders on my list, there is only one performance I have yet to see -- Helen Mirren (Hitchcock).
There will certainly be some competition for the last two spots, as there seems to be every year in every category, but at this time I don't see how Jennifer Lawrence doesn't win the Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook unless Mirren delivers a performance that steals all of Lawrence's thunder.
Below Lawrence I begin with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's career-turning performance in Smashed as an alcoholic on the mend. I saw the film in Toronto and while I tend to have a problem with films dealing with substance abuse in general, it still worked for me and Winstead certainly stands out. This is the type of performance that puts an actress on the awards circuit map, similar to how Winter's Bone elevated Lawrence's profile, which means Winstead's career choices going forward may find her in the winner's circle soon.
Next we find the one certain nomination for Beasts of the Southern Wild in the young Quvenzhané Wallis. No matter what you take away from the film, Wallis' performance will certainly stand out.
My fourth and fifth selections right now are tentative as I think one of them will certainly find their way in, but with Mirren's performance in Hitchcock unseen and the rest of the critical society yet to weigh in on Anna Karenina it's tough to tell.
I also can't figure out just how much of an effect Emmanuelle Riva's performance in Amour will have. Could the Academy find a way to nominate two foreign language performances in the same year? It would be great to see because both her and Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) are certainly deserving and two of the greatest performances I've seen this year.
Looking down the list I don't see any other names that have an overwhelming shot at making the top five. Sure, there are names such as Meryl Streep (Hope Springs) and Viola Davis (Won't Back Down), but having seen both films and performances I just don't see how they find their way in over the competition ahead of them.
- Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)
- Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
- Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)
- Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)
On Page 2 is a look at Best Supporting Actress, click through for the analysis...