2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Actress

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTRESS

(UPDATED: MARCH 6, 2015)

Julianne Moore has an Oscar.  Just wanted to remind you all of that wonderful fact.  This year, the ladies are looking as full as ever, at least at this early stage.  The same group that says that it was a “weak” year for Actresses last year likely didn’t bother looking outside the standard stock of “Oscar contenders.”  There’s always some great choices out there if an Academy member looks hard enough.  

At this point, all eyes are on Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan for her already acclaimed work in John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” which premiered at Sundance and was just given a November release date.  If you’re looking for a frontrunner, then Ronan is likely it at the moment.  However, there’s plenty of room for some terrific ladies to break in.

The drought has ended for Marion Cotillard finally after being recognized for “Two Days, One Night” this year.  Her role in “MacBeth” has the blogosphere very excited.  Cate Blanchett is teamed up with Todd Haynes on “Carol” and looks like a role that could offer an abundance of depth and emotion.  She’s also in Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups.” Woody Allen has Emma Stone once again but “Irrational Man” sounds so much better than “Magic in the Moonlight.”  

Queen Meryl Streep has Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” at the tail end of the summer while another veteran by the name of Lily Tomlin has received exceptional word-of-mouth praise for “Grandma” from Paul Weitz.  Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence is back with David O. Russell as a thirty-something year mother in “Joy” while Charlize Theron has the lead role in boyfriend Sean Penn’s follow-up to “Into the Wild” called “The Last Face.”  

Carmen Ejogo is playing the muse of Ethan Hawke’s jazz musician in “Born to be Blue,” which could be a hefty role (though could easily go supporting).  Naomi Watts will be alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in “Demolition” while Nicole Kidman has three films out this year, likely having “Genius” as her best shot at Oscar attention.  Amy Schumer‘s written “Trainwreck” looks all kinds of awesome and we can only pray that something as cool as Schumer getting nominated for an Oscar is in the realm of possibility.

Carey Mulligan also has a two-punch attack with “Suffragette” and the remake of “Far from the Madding Crowd.”  I think its time for her to get her second fixing of Oscar.  Kristen Stewart has a lot of projects this year of the independent world such as “Equals” and “American Ultra.”  Her transition to serious actress is almost complete.  Watch out for her.  I’d keep an eye on Drew Barrymore, an actress who’s been around for decades and hasn’t received her proper due yet.  Call it a hunch.  

Surely there’s more.  Sound off about them.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Saoirse Ronan

Brooklyn
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The reviews from Sundance were exceptional for Ronan's work. Previous nominee that continues to show that she's an incredible talent.
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2. Marion Cotillard

MacBeth
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Cotillard has finally broke her streak of many snubs. Maybe AMPAS is ready to make her a default choice. Playing Lady MacBeth is a meaty role that she can really sink her teeth into.
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3. Cate Blanchett

Carol
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Todd Haynes got the very best out of her before in "I'm Not There" and Blanchett is just making a run for Meryl Streep-level aspirations in the Oscar community. I think this could be a slam dunk for her.
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4. Emma Stone

Irrational Man
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Was likely the runner-up to Patricia Arquette for "Birdman." She could capitalize on her new Oscar glory with a citation from this Woody Allen project. He does wonders for his female actresses.
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5. Emma Watson

Regression
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Emma Watson is a hot, young commodity in Hollywood and this role sounds extra juicy (daughter of a father that is accused of a crime he has no memory of committing). Look at her work in films like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "The Bling Ring," two outstanding turns for her. However, the role could also go supporting. Early release date is a little troublesome but this could be a ticket for her regardless.

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THE NEXT FIVE

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6. Meryl Streep

Ricki and the Flash
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It's Queen Meryl. She's always in contention. AMPAS does take a Meryl break every now and again. Could this be in the vein of something like "Hope Springs?"
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7. Jennifer Lawrence

Joy
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Back with David O. Russell and playing a real person. Is she our next Jodie Foster/Hilary Swank? The way AMPAS has reacted to her lately, it would be suggested.
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8. Lily Tomlin

Grandma
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Lily Tomlin is a performer that has been very underused in this stage of her career. The word about her work in "Grandma" is the best she's received in years.
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9. Carmen Ejogo

Born to be Blue
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Playing the muse of Ethan Hawke's character in "Born to be Blue." Her miss for "Selma" stings a bit still. Potential supporting play.
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10. Nicole Kidman

Genius
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Kidman broke her streak with "Rabbit Hole" of missing out on Oscar's attention. This role in "Genius" (Aline Bernstein, costume designer and romantically linked to Thomas Wolfe) sounds interesting. She could be a scene stealer.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Naomi Watts

Demolition
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Jean-Marc Vallee has directed three Oscar-nominated (2 winning) performances in the past two years. This bodes well for the entire cast. Watts also probably just missed this past year for either "St. Vincent" or "Birdman."
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12. Angelina Jolie

By the Sea
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Jolie directing herself with her husband. Relationship dramas tend to do well in acting categories.
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13. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

The Whole Truth
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Strong female role and was the big breakout of last year with "Beyond the Lights" and "Belle."
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14. Rooney Mara

Carol
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Sounds like the main protagonist of Todd Haynes' film. Will she be the "Anne Hathaway-Devil Wears Prada" of the film? They could just push her supporting.
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15. Margot Robbie

Z for Zachariah
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An SNL alum that gives a very rich performance. There are vocal lovers for the work. The snub from the Golden Globes is painful. Indie Spirit noticed though.
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16. Charlize Theron

The Last Face
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Sean Penn has got fantastic performances out of his actors before. Theron could be an easy get if the film hits big.
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17. Amy Schumer

Trainwreck
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If only we believed the Academy was this cool....
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18. Carey Mulligan

Suffragette
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British film that could rally huge support.
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19. Carey Mulligan

Far from the Madding Crowd
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The May release doesn't help but you never know...
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20. Ellen Page

Freeheld
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The film sounds so interesting and who knows who they push lead or supporting. I'm intrigued to see what Page could do in something like this opposite the Queen.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Sandra Bullock – Our Brand Is Crisis

22 Emma Stone – Aloha

23 Drew Barrymore – Miss You Already

24 Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

25 Nicole Kidman – The Secret in their Eyes

26 Kristen Stewart – Equals

27 Anna Kendrick – The Last Five Years

28 Emily Blunt – Sicario

29 Blake Lively – The Age of Adaline

30 Cate Blanchett – Knight of Cups

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 Juliette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria

32 Bel Powley – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

33 Kiki Kitana Rodriguez – Tangerine

34 Greta Gerwig – Mistress America

35 Michelle Williams – Suite Francaise

36 Tilda Swinton – A Bigger Splash

37 Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Faults

38 Kristen Stewart – American Ultra

39 Kristen Scott Thomas – The Kitchen Boy

40 Nicole Kidman – Queen of the Desert

*=could go supporting
**=could get pushed to 2016

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