Oscar Race: Best Actress

2015 had a plethora of phenomenal lead female performances. Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, Lola Kirke and Greta Gerwig in Mistress America, Chiara D’Anna and Sidse Babett Knudsen in The Duke of Burgundy, Marion Cotillard in Macbeth, Maika Monroe in It Follows, Margot Robbie in Z for Zachariah, and many more. But who are we kidding? None of these women will have their names called on January 14th.

This is one of the easier categories to predict, with four of the five being pretty much sure things. It is hard to imagine Oscar nomination morning without hearing Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Charlotte Rampling‘s names called. Don’t get me wrong. All of these women are terrific actors, and I want Larson not only to be nominated but win. I just wish the field was wider. The suspense in this category is entirely dependent on where certain people are placed.

In my first predictions post, I predicted Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander would both be nominated in supporting, even though a strong case could be made for them to be in lead. If Mara ends up going lead, she will get that fifth spot. If Vikander goes lead, she will get that fifth spot. If both of them go lead, it’s a toss up, and I land on Mara. But I am predicting them to both to be victims of category fraud, leaving the fifth slot open.


The obvious choice, and the one I am going with, is Jennifer Lawrence for Joy. The movie is a mess, but she turns in strong work for a character whose tone is all over the place. She is also the biggest star in the world, which does not hurt. So, she will get her fourth Oscar nomination before she even turns 26.

Yes, Lily Tomlin, Amy Schumer, and Maggie Smith received Golden Globe nominations for their performances this year, but the push behind them has been very weak. The same goes for SAG nominees Helen Mirren and Sarah Silverman. Joy was not heavily screened for SAG voters, which explains why she is not there. I think Tomlin, Smith, and Mirren are being left out in favor of Charlotte Rampling. Typically, only one older actor makes it into the category.

Quite frankly, I hope this category gets a shakeup when the nominations come out, but I doubt it will. Again, it’s not because these women are bad. After all, Larson, Ronan, and Mara (yes, she is a lead) would make my ballot. I just like competition.

My Predictions:

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Is this category more competitive than I believe it is? Who do you think will be scoring those nominations?

Other Oscar Category Predictions:

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