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April Foolish Predictions #10: Best Actress

Our annual inevitably foolish April Oscar predictions are now complete! 

There's so many questions to consider now that the first Oscar charts for Best Actress (and all other categories) are now up. We've asked you seven questions for the comment party after the jump...


  1. Are they really going to keep nominating Amy Adams if they don't plan to hand her the win? If she's nominated for Joe Wright's Woman in the Window this year, in which she plays an agoraphobic child psychologist, it would be her 7th nomination. Only one woman has ever lost with that many nominations: Glenn Close who set the record just last season. 
  2. Might we have our first ever 'majority minority' Best Actress lineup? It's more possible than history suggests it could be given that Alfre Woodard (Clemency), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Jodie Turner Smith (Queen & Slim), and Awkwafina (The Farewell) all have what appear to be terrific leading roles this year. 
  3. Which previous Best Actress winner will return? Who can generate the most heat this year for a threat of more glory: Charlize Theron (Untitled Roger Ailes Project), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Emma Thompson (Late Night), Helen Mirren (The Good Liar), or Natalie Portman (Lucy in the Sky)?
  4. What is Meryl Streep's role like in The Laundromat anyway? At this point it really doesn't sound like an acting showcase movie. But that's because we know so little.
  5. Which film do you think will hog the acting nominations? Looking back over all the nominations it looks like we've predicted 2 to be the max acting nominations from a film (JoJo Rabbit, Roger Ailes Project, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) but last year we had two different films with three acting nods so perhaps this is lowballing guesswork. 
  6. Which future behemoth did we underpredict? Looking back over all the nominations it appears the most nominations we've predicted for any film is 7 for the Harriet Tubman biopic from Kasi Lemmons. That's all too low for a frontrunner!

    BONUS TRIVIA QUESTION: Thinking back on previous years I couldn't recall years where the Best Picture nomination leader was lower than 9 or 10 until I remembered 2007 when No Country and There Will Be Blood ruled and 2005 when Brokeback Mountain led the nods; in both of those years the top nomination tally was 8. Can you think of a year where the picture with the most nominations had a tally lower than 8? 



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Reader Comments (53)

Medellín sucks.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I don't really think the Academy loves Amy Adams as much as it seems at first glance. With the exception of Junebug, all her nominations were for films that had three or even four nominations for acting (Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle, Vice), and she arguably wasn't best in show in any of those (except maybe American Hustle) and quite possibly slipped through as a default nominee for a film/cast they loved. And whenever she campagined as the main draw of the film (Enchanted, Big Eyes, Arrival), she lost out on the nomination.

So right now, I wouldn't bet too much on her.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

I don't understand why "Late Night" is making these lists. Thompson will be lucky to get a Globe nomination if people remember it at year's end. I'm disappointed that a movie with such a great premise (Emma is an acid tongued female late night host...go!) appears to be Mindy Kaling passive aggressively lecturing Emma Thompson into becoming "woke."

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenteranoN

Also, according to Wikipedia (, you have to go back to 1952 for a year in which no film had more than 7 nominations (that year, High Noon, Moulin Rouge and The Quiet Man tied with 7 each); the last one before that was You Can't Take It With You leading with 7 nominations in 1938.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

I have great faith in Renee this season,I feel like it's time for Charlize to get her 3rd nod,TWITW seems like a commercial player,I don't think there'll be 2 women of color nominations,Mirren goes supporting.

Who is that stealth performer who no one has on their radar.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Surprised that you didn't include Melissa McCarthy or Tiffany Haddish for The Kitchen, since both their careers are on fire right now.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjammy

I also want (and believe in) this comeback for Renee. A literal Renéessaince.

Bridget Joneses' Baby was a huge hit just a few years ago—and critics approved! Count the actresses who've singlehandedly carried a $200 million movie in the last three's short.

People have been very nasty to her but she's a great talent, a lovely person and I hope she knocks Judy out of the park.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

I'm thinking Harriet and Nomadland will post strong showings, and that Little Women could hit big - if it can effectively get things running before that Christmas Day release date.

I'd love to see Theron in here, but I fear that film will become a political football during awards season, decreasing its chances.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Elle Fanning has new movies with Sally Potter and Woody Allen, so that's worth following.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I'm so devastated for you.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

It's going to be a really tough year with McDormand, Streep (assuming she's lead), Portman, and Ronan with seemingly strong projects. They are all Oscar powerhouses who are well-liked in the industry. I can see Erivo and Woodard getting nominated. I'll be very surprised if Theron makes it.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I'm throwing wishful thinking behind Isabelle Huppert in Ira Sachs' FRANKIE.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

It will be interesting to see if Neon can make the right moves and get Alfre Woodard nominated. If this were distributed by Sony Classics or A24 I'd feel a bit more confident. It looks like Neon has did well with I Tonya, but they even came up short with Three Identical Strangers (which was a pretty big hit).

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Is it too much to hope that Isabelle Huppert starring in an English-language movie directed by Ira Sachs premiering at Cannes competition can possibly get her back on the podium? Here's hoping that the movie is great and we can get Sony or a Fox Searchlight to snatch the film and bring it all the way to the Oscars! I'd love to have her back :)

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClarence

Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell please.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I'm really rooting for JUDY to be a good movie. I'd love to see Renee get a comeback nomination.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Isabelle Huppert in FRANKIE

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

It's true that Renée Zellweger had a substantial, global hit with Bridget Jones' Baby, but, to be fair, the film kind of bombed stateside, grossing just less than $25 million (compared to $40 million for its predecessor, which fell $30 million short of the original). In fact, the franchise has suffered from diminishing returns at home (UK) *and* abroad (everywhere else) since Bridget Jones' Diary (sole exception: the overseas gross of Edge of Reason) — and that's unadjusted for inflation. I hope, too, that Zellweger has a nice, big Oscar play for her 50th birthday, but I doubt the qualified success of the last installment of her star-maker will do much to boost her unless her performance in Judy is undeniable. Fingers crossed!

And I know the mere mention of her name is tantamount to blasphemy around these parts, but I'm kind of curious about Hilary Swank in Fatale, which on paper sounds like it could be a deliciously devious Elle-like turn. I'm all about a good, solid neo-noir, and, while it may be trash ultimately, Swank was very good in Trust and What They Had last year so a further return to form would be nice.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

A big YES to everyone who mentioned Huppert in Frankie. Why does it feel certain that Erivo will win?

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I think the Swank vehicle is a routine Screen Gems thriller,I would say she has more luck with the sci fi pic I Am Mother.

I was sad she got no love anywhere for Trust.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Based on the image of Anne Hathaway with blonde hair and half-smirk, I assume that THE LAST THING HE WANTED is secretly a Drew Barrymore biopic.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

I think you’re underestimating Ronan. I also think Little Women will be one of the big hitters with the most nominees, I can see Scanlen and Dern in Supporting Actress and nominations for Gerwig.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

I love Renee but I am getting Diana-vibes from this project. At least it is based on a well-reviewed play, so maybe she can pull it off. Rupert Goold is a highly praised theatre director, but untested in film, so that could be an issue as well.

I don't think the Academy is all that in to Charlize. Unless that film becomes a Vice-level behemoth, I'm not convinced.

And absolutely YES to Isabelle Huppert for Frankie. This year sort of feels like her breakout year in the United States, no? And Ira Sachs is destined for some mainstream awards attention after two well-loved films (Love is Strange and Little Men) debuting in the past 5 years.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

MrW: I'd absolutely say that two of those three she missed for should have been nominations and two of those ones she DID get in for should have been misses. Ideal Amy Adams nomination record...for 6 nominations? Junebug, Enchanted, The Fighter, American Hustle, Arrival, Vice. I mean, the actual ideal right now is 5 (everything but Vice), honestly, but if she has to get in 6 times, those are the 6.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Nathaniel: Geraldine Page also lost seven times...before winning on her eighth nod.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Pike had traction just last year for A Private War (Globe nod). That’s worth mentioning I think!

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterShmeebs

Nobody mentions Lupita?

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrown Cow Stunning

Emma Thompson looks better than ever before but she's not 37. Born in 1959, so 60 years old, unless the internet is lying to me.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Emma Thompson got a recent facelift and looks great. Agree that Lupita should be in the conversation. Those were tricky roles and she was stellar. I don't think Streep will be nominated for The Laundromat, but it's good to never underestimate her.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSRB

Third tier for Lupita is.... a choice. Oscar winning actress stars in the follow-up to an Oscar winning director's second film that crossed over $100 million dollars and got near universal acclaim. Us is not Heredity.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHoneybee

Mary Kay Place in Diane is outstanding!

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErik

"Can you think of a year where the picture with the most nominations had a tally lower than 8? "

1952: The Quiet Man, High Noon, and Moulin Rouge
1938: You Can't Take it With You.
1936: The Great Ziefield, Dodsworth and Anthony Adverse

Led the field with 7 nominations. Of course, pre-supporting you'll see it drop lower

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Team Alfre: she is the one I am most excited to see in a lead role

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterzig

Will The Woman in the Window/Amy be compromised when more people start to realize that the novel's author is a compulsive liar, fraud, and possible plagiarist?

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I'd love to see a comeback for Zelwegger, even if it doesn't result in an Oscar nod.

I hope Streep and McDormand sit this one out. Little Women might get nods, but does it seem like the sort of project that could lead to actual Oscar wins? There have been so many versions of Little Women and I'm not aware of any of them becoming awards magnets.

I agree with Aaron about Theron, I mean, the Academy passed her over for Mad Max, Tully, AND Young Adult ... she might be an actor that they're done with now that they've actually awarded her and given her the obligatory follow-up nod.

I hope Moore is still in the conversation at the end of the year.


April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Nah. After what they did to Glenn, I just don't care about this category anymore.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWayne

I honestly don’t understand the gays who are that upset about
glenn’s loss. Olivia Colman was Silence of the Lanbs level
brilliant whereas The Wife was no Fatal Attraction it was
a small miracle Olivia won.

April 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSean Casey

I honestly don’t understand the Seans who are that uptight about Glenn’s perf. Olivia Colman was next-level brilliant, whereas The Wife was no Fatal Attraction so it was a mighty miracle Glenn was so good.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I get that people are sad about Glenn but give it up, Olivia was a worthy winner. Anyone who says otherwise is dumb.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Unfortunately Colman’s performance was in the wrong category and added to that on repeated viewings, her performance is more and more reductive, she is basically just screaming and acting like a toddler throughout .. Weiss and stone are far superior. So Colman did steal close’s Oscar ( or collette’s if she had managed a nom) but then so did Cher and Jodie ... I too am now dead in the heart when it comes to oscars 😩

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

And please god don’t give amy Adams an Oscar firstly she is so overrated it’s criminal and secondly what a slap in the face giving her the Oscar after 7 noms the year after snubbing close...

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

You can't steal something a collective body voted on. I wish you adults would stop acting like children about an award.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWithering Looks

I forgot to mention Judi Dench in Red Joan. I don't know if she's lead or supporting.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Portman’s gained a pot of new fans recently. Excited to see what she’ll do.

With that sold, I’m not convinced that Oscar likes her much. It definitely seems she’s getting nominations in spite of her persona/likeabilty rather than because of it, even with Jackie where she was brilliant and people thought would win before awards bodies started handing out honors to tge likes of Emma Stone in la la land.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

I forgot to mention Judi Dench in Red Joan. I don't know if she's lead or supporting.

The UK press gave the film a real roasting so unlikely.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Sonia Braga in Nighthawk (Cannes 2019)

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

You are severely underestimating Saoirse and Lupita.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Steve - we'll see. It's tough to get nominated for horror but it'd be cool if they didn't have that bias. Admittedly they do like horror acting better than other "genre" types (superhero, fantasy, sci-fi) when it comes to nominations, though.

April 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think The Laundromat just had a screening in Sherman Oaks last week. Hopefully we will learn more soon. I feel like it will be ensemble but they have recently been making it seem like she is a headliner ( the same thing happened with suffragette).
When news came that she was cast, they described the role as the heart of the film.
I just hope a Netflix backlash does not affect nominations.

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Isabelle Huppert - Frankie
Judi Dench - Red Joan
Renee Zellweger - Judy
Rosamund Pike - Radioactive
Saoirse Ronan - Little Women
Honor Swinton Byrne - The Souvenir

April 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

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