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First Best Actress Predictions of the New Oscar Year

"Are you actress psychic?" It's a question I've often asked in conjunction with prediction contests. I'm still working out details as to what we'll do for an Oscar contest this year but in the meantime I knew I had to wrap up my April Foolish predictions in April which ends... right about now.

To answer my own question I am somewhat Actress Psychic -- as long time readers know -- since my prediction ratio is pretty good early on before we've seen any films. This year I think I dropped the ball, the crystal one that is, not the "ohmygodthis postissoooolate" ball though that one as well. So many potentially interesting leading actress roles and so little in the way of sure things.

Maggie Smith in Quartet (1981) and Maggie Smith in Quartet (2012)

But let's pause for a moment to appreciate the beautiful coincidence should Maggie Smith be nominated as an opera diva in Quartet (2012). much much Oscary more after the jump.

You see wayyyy back in 1981 she already starred in a movie named Quartet (not related to the new one) which was the first follow up to her Oscar winning role in California Suite. I hope she makes two more Quartet movies before she dies so that the history books can teach baby cinephiles of the 2040s and beyond that Dame Maggie literally starred in a quartet of Quartets. This is also a fancy way of saying Dame Maggie must never leave us. Let's give her impossible bucket list goals so that she'll always be delighting us on screens big and small (Downton Abbey for one final season. Woot & Sniffle).

sure things that aren't sure things 
Without any "duh, she'll get it" biopics arriving virtually anything is possible this year. That's just how we like it. So this list begins and ends (mostly) with Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina. While it's true that writer/director Joe Wright & Keira Knightley make a fine & Oscar friendly auteur/muse pair (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) they've both proven to be more divisive talents than most people expected them to be now that we're deeper into their filmographies. And it's worth noting that Keira is hardly a sure thing in period costume dramas; note the conspicuous lack of traction for her work in The Duchess or A Dangerous Method.

Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) has two terrific sounding roles this year in Jacques Audiard's Rust & Bone where she plays a whale trainer who takes up with a boxer and James Gray's Lowlife where she plays a vulnerable immigrant woman caught between two charismatic men, a magician and a club owner. it seems like it might be the right year for her to win Oscar's attention again but for the fact that Audiard and Gray aren't really auteurs on AMPAS's radar. Audiard's movies invariably have a terrifically meaty leading role but they're usually grim and they're always in French and James Gray movies, even Two Lovers, never catch on despite pockets of ardent critical support. 

funny girls
Kristen Wiig in Imogene, Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip and Meryl Streep in Great Hope Springs are all headlining comedies but Oscar only likes to laugh when he likes to laugh. He's extremely mysterious when it comes to the giggling. You just never know when he'll be in the mood. I feel confident that he'll take a break from Streep but will seriously consider the other two if the films are well-liked: Wiig for being a important contemporary showbiz figure; Streisand for being an important showbiz legend. 

Kristen Wiig filming Imogene

still waiting for the gold man
Could this finally be the year for Laura Linney (Hyde Park on the Hudson) or Amy Adams (The Trouble With the Curve) or Viola Davis or Maggie Gyllenhaal (Won't Back Down. Uh oh. Co-lead films wreak so much havoc on Oscar charts)

Sandra on a break during the filming of "GRAVITY"reheat those frozen winners
Helen Hunt's post-Oscar film career was dud filled and spotty but given the positive response to her work in The Surrogate she might be present again. Sexing up a paraplegic won Jane Fonda a second Oscar so why not Hele but Helen Hunt is no Jane Fonda. 

And if you ask me -- you're reading so you did! -- the year's most interesting contender to argue about in terms of nominatability is Sandra Bullock in Gravity. When she won the Oscar for The Blind Side she and the audience knew it was a one time deal. Or was it? She then went on to sign on for an ambitious sci-fi film by a great director that's unlike anything she's ever done and may well live or die by the happy marriage of the film's ambitions and her own charisma as a screen star since it's practically a solo gig (give or take a little George Clooney)

Even if she's excellent an Oscar nomination might be hard to pull off. The genre doesn't usually yield acting kudos and never does outside of big hits. Existential space epics are rarely big hits either though this one needs to be for budget's sake. And even when an Oscar winner gets all suited up for an outer space drama, AMPAS can turn a blind eye (Jodie Foster in Contact, anyone? anyone? is anyone out there?)

so many more questions...

  • which women that seem like Supporting Actresses will get promoted to lead? Kidman? Hathaway?
  • which women leading their films will be demoted to supporting... besides the under-aged girls that is?
  • who am I forgetting?
  • virtually everyone who appears to be in the mix has already been nominated but it's rare to have a year without a newbie. Could Dakota Fanning (Effie), Mia Wasikowska (Stoker), Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace) or Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) rise? Their films don't seem like easy-gets in terms of Oscar attention for various reasons.
  • Has the ship already sailed on Naomi Watt as an Oscar viable performer or will Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby) pull it back to port with the pregnancy drama Sunlight Jr.?
  • what would it take Kristen Wiig to get a nomination for Imogene
  • how much will people try to talk themselves into Jennifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games happening?
  • which ladies are the Golden Globe voters already preemptively drooling over?
  • these are my five predictions but what are yours?


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    First Best Actress Predictions of the New Oscar Year - Blog - The Film Experience

Reader Comments (63)

Upon reading your predictions, I feel like an idiot for not including Dame Maggie Smith in either my Lead or Supporting lineup for Quartet. Actually just got around to doing Oscar stuff on my blog, as I've been inundated with course work for what feels like years. It's sad that I feel late to the party when we're months away from the beginning of Oscar season, let alone the ceremony.

In any case...

Question 1: I have an odd hunch that Hathaway might go Lead for Les Miserables, though I'm betting against it at the moment.

Question 2: Possibly Laura Linney in Hyde Park on Hudson. Maybe Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon in Cloud Atlas since I'm assuming everyone in that movie will go Supporting. Also, if Sparkle somehow becomes a contender, Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter will probably be demoted to Supporting.

Question 3:
Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon in Cloud Atlas
Dakota Fanning in Now is Good
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed

Question 4: If Lovelace picks up US distribution, I think Seyfried could very well get in for it. Right now, though, I'm going on a hunch and saying that Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild makes the cut as the token "new to the club" nominee

Question 5: I know nothing about the movie, but it sounds baity... *checks IMDb, predicts acclaim, and hurriedly throws Watts into contenders list*

Question 6: I don't know, but I would love to see it happen. They totally ripped her off last year. Sure, the screenplay deserved its bid, but Kristen Wiig should have been a shoo-in for Best Actress.

Question 7: LOL - funny because it's true. I've got her outside of my Actress top ten, but I don't see the Academy going for The Hunger Games outside of some crafts nominations

Question 8: Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Julianne Hough for Rock of Ages, Helen Hunt for The Surrogate, Diane Keaton for The Wedding, Nicole Kidman for The Paperboy, Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina and maybe Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Jennifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games and The Silver Linings Playbook, and - SPOILER ALERT! - Meryl Streep for Hope Springs

Question 9: My predicted Actress nominees are...

1. Amy Adams (The Master) - though she might go Supporting for this and Lead for Trouble with the Curve
2. Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)
3. Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
4. Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
5. Meryl Streep (Hope Springs)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulian Stark

I'm thinking right now.......


Idk....those are the ones I'm feeling right now....Anne might go supporting, but I could see them putting her lead. I realllyyyy want Kristen Wiig to get nominated, but that all depends on the movie. I could see Marion Cotillard getting nominated for one of her roles, and Amy and Laura and Nicole have shots too. And you know I'd love for Viola to get nominated. :)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Question 1:

My first option is Hathaway = Young star + Great year -With Catwoman and Fantine- + Hollywood leading lady. But is a risky move because she could fate the same luck like Cotillard in 2009. Not only needs raves, she needs a really weak year and not clear competition. On the other hand, Hathaway has star power and deglam factor.
Other possibility, Jennifer Lawrence for "The Silver Lining Playbook"

Question 2:

Laura Linney for "Hyde Park on Hudson"

Question 3:

Penelope Cruz - "Twice Born" (From the same director and team of "Don't Move)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead - "Smashed"
Eriko Hatsune - "Emperor" (If Webber repeat his success after "Girl with a Pearl Earring")

Question 4:

Amanda Seyfreid, Dakota Fanning and Mia Wasikowska are good options -Especially Fanning- but I have a hunch for Hatsune -Even with the apparently rejection to Asians by AMPAS-. Hatsune's role reminds me a little bit as Umeki's Sayonara -With clear differences-

Question 5:

I read many comments from people who read the screenplay and say, if the film is a complete drama, it would be one of the most depressing films made in the last years and difficult to sell, even for AMPAS tastes. It the film will be a dramedy (Black humor) it would be more easy to sell

Question 6:

At least a Globe nomination is sure thing. For Oscar consideration, there's Babs -Test screeners reviews said she's standout-, Meryl Streep and potential "supporting/leading" players like Lawrence and especially Hathaway

Question 7:

Maybe THG success will help her for The Silver Lining Playbook

Question 8:

*Sandra Bullock - Gravity
*Marion Cotillard - Low Life / Rust and Bone
*Helen Hunt - The Surrogate
*Keira Knightley - Anna Karenina
+One of the newbies -Fanning; Wasikowska, Hatsune or Seyfreid-

*Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables -If compete as leading actress-
*Jennifer Lawrence - The Silver Lining Playbook
*Meryl Streep - Hope Springs
*Barbra Streisand - The Guild Trip
*Kristin Wiig - Imogene

Question 9:

-Marion Cotillard: Low Life / Rust and Bone
-Anne Hathaway: Les Misérables
-Eriko Hatsune: Emperor (Right now, it's my prediction as a newbie)
-Helen Hunt: The Surrogate
-Maggie Smith: Quartet

Alternatives: Keira Knightley: Anna Karenina & Jennifer Lawrence: The Silver Lining Playbook

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Also Nathaniel:

Sony Pictures Classic will be the US distribuitor for "Rust and Bone" and they're planning a December release. If the response in Cannes is in levels as "A Prophet", it would be enough for Cotillard's race this year.


April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

I still seethe over AMPAS short-sightedness at passing on Amy Adams for "Enchanted". I certainly live in hope that she has built a sufficiently ornate karma temple that she gets her first lead nomination this time (and wouldn't she be a "newbie" in that category?)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Hey, Nathaniel, at last! Good job!

I'm still hoping for a miracle re:Turner. Though a win seems out of the question, a nod couuuuuld happen.
And it would be really awesome if Barbra got another nomination. So many ladies I love to root for! I guess I'll have to wait until I've seen their movies.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Oh and, Linney has 3 nominations - not 4 :)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I love that you have Dame Maggie on #1. :) It would be divine if she won her third.

Anyway, I had a vision of seeing Viola Davis and Daniel Day-Lewis in the press room holding Oscars. :)

I'm hoping for a Laura Linney win, though. Time for her to win.

And I more than hope that Jane Fonda will make it. Or Helen Mirren for her amazing performance in The Door (oh boy, is she brilliant there). Seriously, Helen's is a typical Oscar performance. István Szabó has worked miracles for Annette but Helen's even better. Totally nailed that very difficult part. With a good campaign, I don't see her not making it.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdinasztie

I'm sorry but anybody who thinks that it's remotely possible for Hathaway to go lead for Les Miz has clearly never read/seen Les Misérables, lol.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey

Obviously I don't know whether Sally Field is going lead/supporting for Lincoln (you have her in supporting) but isn't Mrs. Lincoln maybe the baitiest role of them all? Real person, mental illness, long-suffering wife (questionable)...seems like a slam dunk. And sure Sally hasn't had much luck in recent years but that seems like a sure thing...right?

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Plus I actually feel that Amy Adams has more chance in supporting. Don't really see her winning in leading yet.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdinasztie

Penélope Cruz is not even "listed" in your chart? She probably won't get anything but I think she'll at least get some buzz

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

I don't believe in your list. For whatever reason I feel like the contenders are practically everyone you haven't thought of. I don't know how to explain it but it feels like you're blind this year. Sure to predict this early leaves a lot of people blind but your predicts last year were so spot on. There wasn't much of a surprise at all. Revise this list in September.

As much as I want Viola to get a quickie makeup Oscar, I don't want it at the expense of Annette Bening. I feel like they're most comfortable giving her Oscar justice in a category where the genre of the performance doesn't matter and neither does age. Nathan you're forgetting the 90's run of funny lady wins in Supporting Actress (Whoopi, Mercedes, Marisa, Dianne, Mira, and Dame Judi).

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Ugh, Amy Adams. I just REALLY don't like her. Lets rather give another Oscar to Hilary Swank :P

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKokolo

It makes me nervous (again) that Keira is in most people's predictions. It's a different scenario than last year in that she's re-teaming with Joe Wright, which will certainly make headlines and be a good buzz factor for them. However she can be divisive, and so many people predicting her makes for another "letdown". Plus I'm suspicious and I don't want her to be jinxed. :P

The only two ladies you've forgotten to list are Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Penelope Cruz. Neither would crack the top 5 (or maybe even top 10) at this point, but both have a decent shot.

I don't know, your predictions are odd. :P I think you're overestimating Quartet, and Adams, Streisand, and Wiig over Hunt? Adams' role seems to "vanilla"; I actually think she could get shut out this year. Marion Cotillard not in the top 5? I understand that her directors aren't usually on Oscar's radar, but these are two *very* baity roles, she's bound to get in for one of them.

As for the lead vs. supporting debate..

SUPPORTING: Anne Hathaway (without a doubt she'll be placed here, there's no way they've beefed up her character as to warrant a leading status), Sally Field, Nicole Kidman
COULD GO EITHER WAY: Carey Mulligan, Laura Linney, Viola Davis, hell even Helen Hunt could go supporting, Jennifer Lawrence

What about Watts for The Impossible?

I think the Wallis girl from Beasts of a Southern Wild stands the best chance (right now) for that newbie nominations. Winstead already has less buzz than her, Johansson's film will prevent her from a nomination, Wasikowska still hasn't gotten "that role" yet, and I have to laugh at the idea of Seyfried being an Oscar nominee.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Oh, and I think Gravity will be noted for it's direction and technical prowess, not Bullock's performance. Don't see her being nominated for this.

And can you believe Lawrence could be twice nominated so early? Is she really more talented than most actresses who have had to wait a few years in between first and second nominations? I'm just not getting the hype for her right now. She was terrible in X-Men First Class, THG was a rehash of Winter's Bone, which she was good in, but not as much as Keira in P&P, Carey in An Education, Anne in RGM, etc.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

I just want Laura Linney to finally win that damn Oscar, even though it would be dispiriting at the same time if it happens for a damn biopic.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Laura Linney seems like an early frontrunner to me.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermed

I don't see how Linney is overdue for an Oscar. She has 3 nominations and is still young compared to K. Turner or The Bening or many others.
And, personally, I'm not predicting her even for a nod because the film seems like it will be full of intriguing female performances and even if hers is the only leading one, she has to be really great to get enough attention, I think.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

really Maggie and Babs? two women in their 70s boh getting nominated. I don't believe it, not what Oscar loves.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMurtada

Murtada -- that's a good point. This year does feel especially foggy to me. But I like it this way. I want to be surprised.. Love it when biopics aren't in the mix! Then surprises CAN happen.

April 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Sorry Danielle, but Carey's performance in an education was on the same level as Jennifer's in Winter's Bone. Both good, but overhyped. You seem to be overly hung up on Young White Actresses and who gets what nomination first.

I like that your predictions are very different than anyone else's. I personally don't think Knightley will be nominated, like you said she's divisive and you can bet the claws are going to come out BC its Anna Karenina. Sort of like Dunst in Marie Antoinette (though I love that movie and her performance ).

I think Maggie may get in, If you look at the past couple of years most of the BA nominees are older than 40. So I think nominations skew older than younger. In terms of winning obviously younger.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

And Danielle, your bias is clearly showing. THG is in no way a rehash of Winter's Bone. That's a completely shallow and simple declaration. Like, Ree Dolly is probably one of the most pacific (though not passive) characters in recent memory, whereas Katniss kills children (forced to or not)? THG is sci-fi? They are oppressed by two completely different things? And I mean... they're not even from the same area. The main thing that they have in common is that they have a sister/crazy mother and that they kill squirrels. I won't even go into how the interpretations of Katniss and Ree are completely different because I think it should be obvious.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey

I really haven't heard any buzz for Quartet. I think this movie will have to be great in order for the senior players to get a nod. But then, Dustin Hoffman directing is most likely a plus since he has the reputation as being a perfectionist.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermed

These must be the worst Oscar predictions I've read in a long time. Helen Hunt is almost a sure thing, the same can be said about Bullock and Marion Cotillard. Maggie Smith? Barbra Streisand? LMAO!! And where is Penélope Cruz?

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

First, LOVE the post. Thanks for putting thought into it. So refreshing to see there are lots of choices early in the year that look exciting.

Supporting Actress going Lead - Sheesh. Well, if Davis/Gyllenhaal's film plays well, they will have to determine who goes where. (Won't Back Down will have endless jokes following it if they both go lead.) I think Hathaway will wisely stay in Supporting, where she will probably fight for the PYT vote against Amy Adams (who still looks 25 - both gorgeous ladies). Adams could be double nodded, but it'll probably be a better idea to avoid it. Eastwood's films are only getting limited traction these days anyway. Getting off topic... I don't imagine Kidman will go Supporting. If she has enough presence, she can own the film in limited screen time. It's just a matter of whether it plays. There's also The Bening, but Wiig will no doubt want to submit in Lead. (Supporting may actually be a lot more fun than Lead this year - Adams, Hathaway, Bening...)

Lead Actress going Supporting - I mentioned Adams, but Linney, Hunt and even Dame Maggie could go this route. I really hope Hunt doesn't win a second Oscar Swank-style (1-2 winner punch), but I shouldn't comment until I see the film. After Davis' big push for a lead win and what that means to her, I assume if one of them backs down (can't help it), it'll be Gyllenhaal. Plus Gyllenhaal strikes me as a character actress, so that may be a good thing for her. We'll see if the film plays.

Missing - No idea. Greta Gerwig? I'm dreaming, of course.

Newbies - So impossible to predict. If there's a Sundance Queen this year, from what I hear, it's Hunt. (Tell me if I'm wrong there.) Cannes rarely impacts Actress. Comedies are a likely slot for newbies, and if the competition is fairly open, a home run for Wiig could get her in. I'm counting her as a newbie on the acting side, but there will be a huge factor there - is this character different enough from her Bridesmaids persona? It sounds like The Bening could steal the film, but Wiig has that strain of Fey-Poehler-Rudolph SNL brilliance running through her.

Watts - Honestly I don't get the fuss with her, and yes, I saw Lynch Drive (not a fan - I know, I'm a terrible person). That said, she has some solid moments and just needs a major role in a big hit where she can show her chops. You know, like every other actress in Hollywood.

Wiig - It'll require a weak year, plain and simple. When they have space, they'll take comedy over drama they didn't like. It still doesn't happen much though. Even another box office smash - and I will be amazed if this is a hit as big as Bridesmaids - will have little impact on them.

Jennifer Lawrence: Not happening. Then again, once a year I say that and I'm wrong. I think she's being rewarded for her previous name recognition thanks to Oscar, but they won't need to pat themselves on the back for boosting her. They only need confirmation nods for their past winners, not their nominees. (In all fairness, she was pretty darn good in the role, which is a nice thing to say about a blockbuster of that size.)

Golden Globes: I actually like my Globes glitzy and shallow and silly. These days they try way to hard to be in line with Oscar. Boo. I'd imagine on the comedy side Wiig, Streisand, Smith... is it possible Paperboy will go Comedy? Streep and Mann otherwise. Not a single nominee among them, I'm guessing. They'll probably go 3/5 or 4/5 with Oscar on the Drama side, but eh. The party is fun, but the voters aren't enjoying themselves enough. Moving on.

OK, the five:

Sandra Bullock, Gravity - They love to be right about their one-nomination winners, and to prove it to you, they'll nominate them again. I can't imagine Cuaron putting out a piece of crap film, and if she's front and center, there's no escaping her contribution. Plus she has gone serious actress post-Oscar when she could have just snuck back to comedy very comfortably, and I'm sure they LOVE that. Still, if it flops, it'll flop hard.

Viola Davis, Won't Back Down - They felt the backlash. They'll never admit it, but they did. She clearly wants into the winners club and it'll just be a matter of when. Until then, though, I have a feeling they're going to keep throwing her name in. Then again, we'll see if the film has an audience, and it could be a 100% supporting role.

Helen Hunt, The Surrogate - If I had to put money on one, this would be it. I'm just not sure which category. Hawkes is likely to win Actor, or atleast make a good run, from what I've heard.

Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson - I love love love her and her personality, but her recent work in films hasn't reached the potential of her You Can Count On Me holy-crap amazingness. I hope she can bring life to what already sounds like a boring film (not sure about Michell), and I really would love to see her in something wild and unexpected. It's possible that'll show here, I guess. Anyway, she's someone who has long deserved to be part of the winner's circle, so a win for a lesser film would still be a mixed blessing. (Much like Meryl this year, her speech may be more fun than the film.) She's one of those oh so talented women that I fear is stuck in nominee land though. Hope I'm wrong.

Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina - I can't believe I'm going for this, especially after she was so divisive last year. I've never heard reactions like that to a performance. Wright is brilliant though, and this could be all kinds of amazing. It would also be interesting to see both of her nominations come from this director/actor combination. She does feel right for period pieces, but maybe he brings the right spark to her.

I really want to hopedict and predict Mulligan, but it sounds like such a showy movie. Still, if Baz nails this, it could a fantastic achievement. I keep hoping for him to reach beyond Moulin Rouge! but so far, no. It may very well be my all time favorite film, so the bar is insanely high. It's just too bad that none of his other efforts even come close for me. Time to redeem that. The creativity is there - it just needs to be channeled correctly. Lord knows Mulligan has the talent.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Olympia Dukakis - "Cloudburst"

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenndale

O.K., after reading different comments, I changed my mind-


-Marion Cotillard - Low Life / Rust and Bone
-Dakota Fanning - Effie
-Eriko Hatsune - Emperor
-Helen Hunt - The Surrogate
-Maggie Smith - Quartet

Alt: Amy Adams - Trouble with the Curve; Jennifer Lawrence - TSLP; Penelope Cruz - Twice Born

In this situation, even Marion may win a second Oscar :P -O.K. just a hunch-. But I'm sure she'll return to the Oscars this year. Hatsune is my newbie prediction right now. Hunt is a "comeback nomination" and she played a real life character. Even if Quartet didn't make it in other categories, I think Dame Maggie Smith will be nominated. Her role is the most interesting from the screenplay; the British vote would be on her side -After all, she won the BAFTA five times and she's considerated a national treasure- and maybe the comedic role of the year. Finally, the international success of "Mantigold Hotel" could help her chances. My last option is Fanning = Former child star playing a different character -Real life person in the Victorian Britain- with a long and interesting career. Also, Emma Thompson -Who wrote the screenplay- and Claudia Cardinalle are in the film

Supporting Actress:

-Samantha Barks - Les Misérables
-Annette Bening - Imogene
-Sally Field - Lincoln
-Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables
-Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy

Alt: Vanessa Redgrave - SFM; Jacki Weaver - TSLP; Isla Fisher; The Great Gatsby

If the nominees are close than this, the Oscar could be between Bening and Hathaway, with the latter having advantage.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Where are all the baity biopics this year?

Sure there's Hyde Park In Hudson, which might get some attention (although I'm sceptical) and Lincoln - yawn! - but doesn't it feel like this could be the beginning of the celebrity impersonation going out of favour?

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBJT


Who is Michell in you Laura Linney narrative?


April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermed

I was really hoping Rachael Harris in "Natural Selection" would get some traction, but alas, not meant to be.

And I hear Tina Fey's "Admission" from one of the Weitz brothers is on the fast track since 30 Rock's on summer hiatus.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

med - maybe it's Roger Mitchell. the director

BJT - Maybe not "regular" biopics, but we have these stories:

*The Surrogate - The story between Mark O'Brien and Cheryl Cohen Green (The Sex Surrogate)
*Effie - The triangle between John Ruskin, his wife Euphemia Grey and his assistant Everett Millais (Huge Scandal in the Victorian Era)
*Lawless - Based on real events (The writer of the novel is relative of the real Bondurant brothers)

Also other films:

*Heleno - The Brazilian Biopic of Heleno de Freitas, a famous soccer player in the 40s. Rodrigo Santoro is the lead actor and Screen Media will be the US distribuitor
*Hands of Stone - The boxing drama of Roberto Duran. Gael Garcia¨Bernal have the lead role with Robert De Niro playing his coach.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

And I forgot Argo: Ben Affleck played the lead role (Tony Mendez); John Goodman as the oscar winner make up artist John Chambers and Kyle Chandler as Hamilton Jordan (Assesor of Carter's administration)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Just a thought on Hyde Park on the Hudson, inspired by James T's post: Laura Linney is essentially competing for attention against Olivia Williams, who has been gaining fans for several years now and who (as Eleanor Roosevelt) has by far the more baity role.

I bet Linney is The Other Woman in more ways than one this year.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Morgan, I was hoping the same. I saw Natural Selection at the London Film Fest last year and loved her in the film!

I'm interested to see how J Connelly is received post re-edit in Virginia although i don't think there will be any Oscar buzz.

Would love to see Viola Davis back again this year.

Linney, Moore, Adams, Bening in discussion is exciting! Will one of the overdue get her little gold man?!

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

I saw "Rebelle" ("War Witch") yesterday, and there's NO WAY that Rachel Mwanza could justifiably be dropped down to Supporting. It's HER film!!

One nobody's mentioned yet, but which I quite liked, is Rachel Weisz in "The Deep Blue Sea." Don't think it will have any buzz, though, by the end of the year.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

med - leon is right, he's the director of the film. Notting Hill, Morning Glory and Venus are among his credits. They all strike me as good movies that could have been better. (Never saw his Changing Lanes though.)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

BJT -- do not raise my hopes. I'm so so sick of that (and everyone is so so sick of me talking about how sick i am of it)

JOHN -- i like to keep it loose the first time through and imagine scenarios. There's no such this as "a sure thing" and several of them this early!

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Bill the Bear -- remember when they tried to campaign for Naomi Watts mullholland dr as supporting and Keisha castle hughes whale rider as supporting and Jamie foxx in collateral as supporting. LOL.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Hey Nathaniel! Can you please explain your comment in the predictions page when referring to Marion Cotillard?
You say about Audiard... "But... he makes them in French and Oscar never notices (apart from that foreign film nod for A Prophet)"
The whole point is Cotillard here; and Oscar has not been remiss! Voters will be thinking of Marion when voting Best Actress, not Audiard!
Maybe I'm missing something! :)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Someone is out here! (I thought I was the only person who loved Jodie Foster in Contact.)

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCash

I've said this before. The name Jean won her the Oscar in 1969, and now it's time for another nomination for Maggie Smith :)

She will have loads of momentum: post-Harry Potter + present Downton Abbey glory, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and finally Quartet for a nomination :)

My predictions at present are:

Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby
Laura Linney, Hyde Park On Hudson
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Marion Cotillard, Lowlife

- In April 2010 I had 3 out of 5 correct
- In March 2011 I had 4 out of 5 correct (but frankly, last year was so easy, the Meryl, Michelle, Glenn guesses were no-brainers for me from the very start)

This year is trickier, and I agree with Nathaniel that this makes it far more exiting.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Marcos -- i just mean that with foreign language performances there's no telling. Isabelle Huppert and Catherine Deneuve and Gong Li and Juliette Binoche and MANY other very famous actresses give great performances all of the time and never even get a teensy ounce of traction. It's very hard to know when that'll happen with a foreign language performance.

It's definitely possible -- it can't hurt that Cotillard is already a winner -- but people crying "sure thing" ... have they ever looked at the past 84 years? Foreign language nominated performances are not common.

Cash -- you're not alone. I think she's great in that movie.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I've already convinced myself that Jennifer Lawrence is getting in. Haha

I just think THG is too big to ignore, especially since it now looks like it will end at 400 million domestically--and the reviews weren't Twilight level bad. They were more Harry Potter. Anyway, I don't want to say NO outright because I did enough of that with Melissa McCarthy last time and she went way farther than I could've ever imagined.

As for Sandra. Well, she skipped right to an Oscar win on her charisma alone, so I'm not worried about her carrying this movie. Will be very interested to see what Alfonso does with her.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbia

I like Jennifer Lawrence but she's not getting a nomination for "The Hunger Games" and honestly speaking she doesn't deserve it.

Just wait and see.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Nathaniel, good point,but...

-Isabelle Huppert (La Pianiste): Even in an English language film, there would be a difficult film for AMPAS minds -Especially the olders-.
-Catherine Deneuve (Repulsion): Same above Huppert, also the terror aspect of the film didn't help either. Also, ironically, Deneuve will be nominated for a French language performance in "Indochine"
-Gong Li (Farewell my Concubine): It could be a rejection for Asians

But I think Cotillard is in different situation than them:

-She's an Oscar winner
-She starred big Hollywood productions -Even before her Oscar win-
-She starred two of BP nominees in 2010 and 2011
-Building an international career with directors like Jacques Audiard and possible Ashgar Farhadi.

Right now, I think Cotillard have more chances with "Low Life", but "Rust and Bone" has US distribuitor and buzz from Cannes; she could be part of the select group with Adjani and Loren nominated twice for a foreign language performance

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Leon -- all good points. I just think people are forgetting that Rust & Bone, in addition to being subttiled, is also probably going to be grim, sexual and inyourface and those things, as Isabelle Huppert has often learned, do not attract AMPAS no matter how brilliant the performance.

April 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I just realized who I want to win Best Actress this year...Jessica Chastain.

There'll be an urge in giving her a Supporting Actress statuette and throwing away the key—I can't let that happen.

No Tomei for Chastain!

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

1) Kidman at best... but I don't think so. Producers usually promote actresses for supporting instead of leading and if Hathaway goes supporting, I think she may have chances to win (her role is juicy enough)

2) I would say Laura Linney for "Hyde Park On Hudson" and Helen Hunt for "The Surrogate" - Linney because she may have better chances to win by going supporting; Hunt because she may have better chances to get nominated if not placed as leading actress

3) I think you forgot Mary Elizabeth Winstead for "Smashed": she got really nice raves at Sundance Film Festival and she must be under serious consideration... she's this year's Sundance babe

4) Between the newbies you mentioned, I believe Fanning and Johansson have the best chances. Dakota Fanning will be starring a movie written by the gifted Emma Thompson and she's the always "next Jodie Foster" that didn't get Oscar recognition yet and the movie has a lot of potential and, let's be honest, the girl is pure talent waiting to be directed by capable hands. Johansson is starring a "one woman show" directed by Jonathan Glazer (the man who directed Nicole Kidman in her wonderful performance in "Birth" and gave an Oscar nod to Ben Kingsley for "Sexy Beast") and Scarlett's acting is something very specific, great for more athmospheric movies and I think it can work really well with Glazer's style.

5) This weekend I had a kind of Naomi Watts marathon: yesterday, I saw "Mulholland Drive" and I saw "21 Grams" today, and I have no doubts about how good her acting chops are, but I don't believe in her Oscar chances anymore. I think she's that kind of actress that the Academy will never pay the attention she deserves... you know... a kind of Mia Farrow!

6) Wiig is funny, talented, she's in an high point of her career (her SNL success + Bridesmaids success) and she didn't get the Best Actress buzz she deserved for Bridesmaids, so I think the Academy has her under the radar for sure. In my opinion, she only needs to deliver an honest, funny and "à la Charlize Theron in Young Adult" performance in order to get nominated... people are paying attention to her, she just has to smile and keep going!

7) Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in "The Hunger Games", but I don't see the AMPAS taking this performance too seriously, specially if "The Silver Lining Playbook" plays as a major Oscar contender and her performance is praised. But if she doesn't succeeds in Playbook, I can see producers campaigning her: she received enough rave reviews and the movie was a commercial and a critical success and has a great fanbase.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

* Sandra Bullock ("Gravity")
* Keira Knightley ("Anna Karenina")
* Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games") - I can really see the Globes nominating Lawrence for THG
* Laura Linney ("Hyde Park On Hudson")
* Carey Mulligan ("The Great Gatsby")

* Amy Adams ("Trouble With the Curve")
* Penélope Cruz ("To Rome With Love")
* Kristin Wiig ("Imogene")
* Meryl Streep ("Great Hope Springs")
* Barbra Streisand ("The Guilt Trip")

1 - Laura Linney ("Hyde Park On Hudson")
2 - Marion Cotillard ("Rust & Bone")
3 - Maggie Smith ("Quartet")
4 - Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Smashed")
5 - Quvenzhané Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild")

alternates: Keira Knightley ("Anna Karenina"); Barbra Streisand ("The Guilt Trip"); Scarlett Johansson ("Under the Skin")

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd
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