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92nd Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2019 (for the 2020 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

Tier 1 - Prediction

We tried multiple variations of the top ten but kept coming back to this 'ranking' (for entertainment purposes only since we haven't yet seen the films!). We're predicting the first year with two black actresses nominated together as leads since all the way back in 1972... (when Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson were both in the mix) and we almost predicted three since Jodie Turner Smith could well be the year's breakout new star. Plus the return of two winners (Mirren & Theron... give or take Thompson  & McDormand). If Amy Adams is nominated yet again, though, watch out. Only one actress has ever remained an Oscar loser with 7 nominations: Glenn Close.

Cynthia Erivo
32 yrs old | never nominated
HARRIET
(Focus)
Release TBA

PRO: The movie could be a frontrunner if its high quality given the subject.

CON: But competition will be fierce. Erivo doesn't yet have the sort of career momentum that makes you an obvious threat to win.

Amy Adams
44 yrs old | 6 noms
WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
(Fox)
Oct 4th

PRO: Amy has little trouble getting nominated and this role sounds juicy (agoraphic child psychologist)

CON: Are they really going to keep nominating her IF they dont plan to give her the win?

Helen Mirren
73 yrs old | 4 noms | 1 win
THE GOOD LIAR
(Warner Bros)
Nov 15th

PRO: She's had automatic awards runs for most of her projects, whether or not the performance was noteworthy and early buzz on this is good.

CON: Could well turn into the Ian McKellen show, awards-wise.

Alfre Woodard
66 yrs old | 1 nomination
CLEMENCY
(Neon)
Release TBA

PRO: She's an enduring actor's actor that people love. 36 years since her first nom (!) so she'd get a lot of welcome back media love.

CON: Will Neon be able to mount a strong campaign if the film has no Best Picture heat?

Charlize Theron
43 yrs old | 2 noms | 1 win
UNTITLED ROGER AILES FILM
(Lionsgate)
Dec 20th

PRO: Voters love famous actors playing famous people. The story is timely and Lithgow as co-star.

CON: She's been passed over for brilliant work in the past so they're sometimes immune to her gifts.

 
Tier 2 - Or Maybe It'll Be These Five

Frances McDormand
61 yrs old | 5 noms | 2 wins
NOMADLAND
(Fox Searchlight)
Release TBA

PRO: People only seem to love her more the older she gets. Could be a great film (Chloe Zhao directing) and she's got a fine male lead (David Straithairn)

CON: Also could be a very small arthouse film. We'll see.

Emma Thompson
60 yrs old | 4 noms and 1 win *in acting categories*
LATE NIGHT
(Amazon)
June 7th

PRO: It's high time that she was nominatd again and people love her as this aging talk show host trying for a second career wind.

CON: It will have to be a huge hit to sustain a looong campaign. Plus it's a comedy.

Jodie Turner Smith
32 yrs old | never nominated
QUEEN & SLIM
(Universal)
Nov 27th

PRO: Hollywood will be paying attention given the director's buzz and Kaluuya as co-star. Could be the year's breakout.

CON: A competitive field and she's up against true legends. The film might also prove divisive.

Meryl Streep
69 yrs old | 21 noms | 3 wins
THE LAUNDROMAT
(Netflix)
Release TBA

PRO: No other actor finds it easier to snag nominations, even in the odd years when she doesn't campaign.

CON: Might be more of an ensemble / procedural picture. How meaty is her role?

Natalie Portman
37 yrs old | 3 noms | 1 win
LUCY IN THE SKY
(Fox Searchlight)
Release tba

PRO: Portman's been really stretching herself and swinging boldly for greatness of late. Looks like a compelling film.

CON: She's already had her 'it' girl moment. She'll need the film to be strong as well.

 
Tier 3 - We might be underestimating...

Saoirse Ronan
25 yrs old | 3 noms
LITTLE WOMEN
(Columbia)
Dec 25th

PRO: We already know that Oscar loves this role (see Winona Ryder in 1994) and its a classic for a reason.

CON: It's also a remake. A fourth nomination by 25? Only one person (JLaw) has ever done that.

Lupita Nyong'o
36 yrs old | 1 nom | 1 win
US
(Universal)
March 22nd

PRO: She's brilliant in the film and, more importantly given the early release, super memorable.

CON: It's a horror film and Oscar prefers drama.

Awkwafina
29 yrs old | never nominated
THE FAREWELL
(A24)
July 12th

PRO: Great reviews out of Sundance and Oscar has often loved to be surprised when funny people do "serious" work.

CON: Early release so it will need to have great reviews / staying power.

Renée Zellweger
49 yrs old
3 noms | 1 win
JUDY
(Roadside)
Sept 27th

PRO: Oscar loves famous people playing famous people, especially in bios.

CON: Garland is one of the most imitated performers of all time. We've seen it a lot already. RZ hasn't had a hit in years.

Anne Hathaway
36 yrs old | 2 noms | 1 win
THE LAST THING HE WANTED
(Netflix)
Release TBA

PRO: Hot director (Dee Rees) + great co-star (Willem Dafoe) + strong role?  She could return.

CON: Netflix release and only Roma has really broken through that bias in a major way.

 
Tier 4- Too early to rule anyone out!

Juliette Binoche
55 yrs old | 2 noms | 1 win
THE TRUTH
(IFC)
Release TBA

PRO: Playing the daughter of a famous actress in this mother/daughter drama. Juliette is nearly always brilliant.

CON: IFC is not known for Oscar campaigning.

Julianne Moore
58 yrs old | 5 noms | 1 win
GLORIA BELL
(A24)
March 22nd

PRO: She's delightful in the movie.

CON: Very early release - she'd need the Globes to revive interest.

Rosamund Pike
40 yrs old | 1 nomination
RADIOACTIVE
(Amazon)
Release TBA

PRO: Oscar loves no genre more than the biopic. She's playing Marie Curie.

CON: The film's pedigree doesn't scream "Oscar!" and Pike hasn't had traction since Gone Girl.

Elisabeth Moss
36 yrs old | never nominated
HER SMELL
(Gunpowder & Sky)
April 12th

PRO: A currently very hot career, a bold star turn, and her memorable work in Us won't hurt any lead campaign.

CON: Tiny distributor and aggressive film.

Honor Swinton Byrne
21 yrs old | never nominated
THE SOUVENIR
(A24)
May 17th

PRO: Critics are excited about the film and she's the daughter of an avant garde screen icon.

CON: Small film and summer release.

 
Other Female Leads in 2019

(Alphabetical Order)

Gemma Arterton - Summerland, Jillian Bell - Brittany Runs a Marathon, Cate Blanchett - Where'd You Go Bernadette?, Rose Byrne - Limited Partners, Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey, Elle Fanning - All the Bright Places, Holliday Grainger - Animals, Keira Knightley - Official Secrets, Tiffany Haddish - Limited Partners, Linda Hamilton - Terminator, Taraji P Henson - Best of Enemies, Felicity Jones - The Aeronauts, Mindy Kaling - Late Night, Riley Keough - The Lodge, Brie Larson - Captain Marvel, Lesley Manville - Normal People, Taylor Paige - Zola, Mary Kay Place - Diane, Florence Pugh -Midsommar, Alicia Vikander - Earthquake Bird, Mia Wasikowska - Judy & Punch

We're assuming 2020
Ammonite
Bergman Island
Blackbird
West Side Story