It just might be Amy Adams year, but then again being an Oscar favorite this early makes for a very hard road ahead, especially when your film doesn't hit theaters until Christmas Day. Such is just the case for Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which Adams leads, playing painter Margaret Keane in the story focuses on her success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband (Christoph Waltz), who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s after much of her artwork was originally sold under his name... Thus begins our first look at the Best Actress race for the 2015 Oscars.
Yes, Adams sits atop my field of 28 early contenders, a list that is certainly too long at this point and is certain to change as category fraud will likely play a role and fresh faces will soon emerge, perhaps as soon as within the next couple weeks at the Cannes Film Festival. However, for now, let's see where this takes us.
After Adams, I've gone with Reese Witherspoon playing the lead role in Wild for Dallas Buyers Club director, Jean-Marc Vallée. The film is based on Cheryl Strayad's memoir, chronicling her 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.
Next is the first of a series of roles for Jessica Chastain on my list, and it's one that very well may end up being a supporting role, but as far as I'm concerned JC Chandor's A Most Violent Year is the highest profile pic the talented actress stars in this year, that might garner her some awards attention. She also has Miss Julie for Liv Ullmann and Eleanor Rigby.
In fourth position is Cate Blanchett in Carol for Todd Haynes in which she co-stars opposite Rooney Mara. Blanchett is coming off a banner year last year with her multitude of wins for Blue Jasmine and the last time she teamed with Haynes we got that great performance in I'm Not There., which earned her an Oscar nomination.
Finally, my fifth name goes to the ever-reliable Helen Mirren for Lasse Hallström's The Hundred-Foot Journey. I'm merely looking at pedigree here as the list of names below the bubble line go on and on and on.
Here's a sampling... Michelle Williams (Suite Francaise), Carey Mulligan (Suffragette), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Naomi Watts (While We're Young), Berenice Bejo (The Search), Rooney Mara (Trash), Nicole Kidman (Queen of the Desert), Kate Winslet (A Little Chaos), Jennifer Lawrence (Serena), Anne Hathaway (Interstellar) and Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars).