2015 Oscar Predictions – Best Actress

2015 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTRESS

(UPDATED: DECEMBER 22, 2014)

Jennifer Aniston looks like she’ll be the first “Friend” to get an Oscar nomination. I can’t believe it.  And I believe she is FANTASTIC in her film, likely my personal winner of the year.  With a film so small, from a new production company, you wouldn’t think she stood a chance but here we are.  I wonder if her assurance could edge out someone like Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl” to make room for either Marion Cotillard, Hilary Swank, or Emily Blunt?  We’ll see.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Julianne Moore

Still Alice
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It's one of the best turns of her career and those really no one else that has been contending. It's her time. Even publicists from rival companies say Best Actress is over.
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2. Felicity Jones

The Theory of Everything
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Her film is coming on strong and in any other year, she'd likely be our winner based on the Academy's past trends with Best Actress winners.
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3. Reese Witherspoon

Wild
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She stands above some of the film's more obvious flaws and it's good to see her doing great work again. If she hadn't won for "Walk the Line," she'd be more of a possibility.
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4. Rosamund Pike

Gone Girl
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Globes and SAG have kept her in the conversation since there was a moment that looked like a Pike snub could be coming our way. She's still not out of the woods yet but she seems safe for now.
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5. Jennifer Aniston

Cake
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One of the ballsy calls of the season paid off because she was coming on strong in the past few weeks. Globe and SAG have noticed. BFCA needs to capitalize as well.
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THE NEXT FIVE CONTENDERS

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6. Emily Blunt

Into the Woods
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Looked like the sure-fire Globe winner but Adams will put up a fight now. Even if she does win the Globe, AMPAS would have turned in their ballots already.
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7. Hilary Swank

The Homesman
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Roadside Attractions put together a very thorough campaign for her but it doesn't seem to have paid off. Her screen time isn't as hefty as you'd like a Lead Actress to be.
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8. Amy Adams

Big Eyes
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It's one of her most complex and refreshing performances yet but the film has a stigma around it that she just can't shake. Globes noticed but SAG passed.
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9. Marion Cotillard

Two Days, One Night
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Has been winning her lion's share of Best Actress mentions so far but for combined films. Cotillard just has bad luck getting her second nomination.
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10. Anne Hathaway

Interstellar
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Paramount is conducting a strategic campaign on the actors and she benefits from a seemingly "weak category. She could be a dark horse choice.
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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Marion Cotillard

The Immigrant
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Harvey has put the gas pedal down with her work in James Gray's film, especially with her winning a few critics notices along the way. Is it too late?
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12. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Belle
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An outstanding breakthrough performer this year with this and "Beyond the Lights." She needed one of the major guilds to notice her though.
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13. Jessica Chastain

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
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Harvey is trying to get her into a five but the guilds and critics are focusing on "A Most Violent Year" and "Interstellar." Better luck next time.
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14. Shailene Woodley

The Fault in Our Stars
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She's probably the frontrunner for the MTV Movie Award but Oscar just doesn't go for this type of film.
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15. Jenny Slate

Obvious Child
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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. Scarlett Johansson

Under the Skin
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Was in the conversation at NYFCO and other groups have praised her work. The film is too small in this crowded field.
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17. Anne Dorval

Mommy
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Foreign contender that has received much praise. Qualifying run by Roadside Attractions.
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18. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Beyond the Lights
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No Globe. No Chance.
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19. Helen Mirren

The Hundred Foot Journey
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The Golden Globes nominated her but some eyebrows were raised by it. Does anyone remember the movie?
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20. Jessica Chastain

Miss Julie
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The film premiered at TIFF and she received decent enough reviews but not enough buzz for her remained.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Keira Knightley – Begin Again

22 Tilda Swinton – Only Lovers Left Alive

23 Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

24 Mia Wasikowska – Tracks

25 Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent

26 Robin Wright – The Congress

27 Gena Rowlands – Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

28 Michelle Monaghan - Fort Bliss

29 Rachel McAdams – A Most Wanted Man

30 Maggie Smith – My Old Lady

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

31 Emma Stone – Magic in the Moonlight

32 Kristen Stewart – Camp X-Ray

33 Angelina Jolie – Maleficent

34 Shirley MacLaine – Elsa & Fred

35 Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

36 Elisabeth Moss – The One I Love

37 Charlotte Gainsbourg – Nymphomaniac Vol. 1

38 Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie

39 Rinko Kikuchi – Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

40 Shailene Woodley – White Bird in a Blizzard

*=could go supporting
**=could get pushed to 2015

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Clayton Davis

Editor-in-Chief & Owner at The Awards Circuit
Clayton Davis started to write professionally in his sophomore year of college when Johnny Alba, the editor and owner of the old Oscar prediction site, The Oscar Igloo, had an opening for staff writers. Clayton wrote for The Igloo for nearly four years before being appointed editor and revamping and renaming The Oscar Igloo into the now popular mega-site, The Awards Circuit. Since then, Clayton has become a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to awards season show, The Critics Choice Awards. Most recently, Clayton is a now an active member of the International Press Academy, which hosts the popular Satellite Awards as well as the newly integrated Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which hosts the Critics Choice Television Awards. In June 2014 he became the year's first accepted member to New York Film Critics Online. He has been quoted in various outlets (CNN.com, Bloomberg.com, TheWrap.com, AceShowbiz.com, SlashFilm.com, ScottFeinberg.com) and continues to raise the bar for film-talking enthusiasts around the globe.