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2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (April) – Viola Davis Still Tops; Glenn Close is Coming

Glenn Close has her eyes on the prize in The Wife

As you can see, not a lot of change this month with the top 4 remaining so and in the same place. Viola Davis (Widows) is still #1 and I think she’ll be there for a while. Already a Supporting Actress Oscar winner, this would be one of Oscar’s most traditional trajectories – a supporting win followed up by a lead win – and makes sense for someone of Davis’s stature.

But what I’m keeping my eye on is Glenn Close in The Wife. After debuting at Toronto last year, Close’s film was picked up by Sony Classics. But, SPC had a very full slate that included multiple Best Actress contenders (all of whom failed) and it seemed they had stretched themselves thin. They smartly held onto The Wife and are starting to roll out the film’s campaign and release quite early. The film isn’t due until August but we’ve already got the first trailer and you bet there’s the ‘6-TIME ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE GLENN CLOSE’ title card for everyone to see. There is a clear narrative to play for Close that no other major contender has this year (except maybe Michelle Pfeiffer…more on that later). Although late summer seems a bit early for a film like this (it won’t play any other festivals) I think SPC is going to push her hard for this and by year’s end she may be undeniable.

Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk) also moves up and sits juuust outside the top 5 this month. The Oscars love ingenues and breakthrough performances and all eyes will be on the follow-up from Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and she will benefit.

One of the more exciting surprises is that we could be seeing a major comeback for Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger in Judy. The first pics of her as Judy Garland have stunned film fans and the actress seems poised to grab the spotlight once again.

Circling back to Michelle Pfeiffer, the 3-time Oscar nominee is receiving the best notices of her career for Where Is Kyra? but the real question is where is the movie? A tiny, new distributor plopped the film down a few weeks ago but it doesn’t seem they’re ready to mount an Oscar campaign the size of which would be needed. The critics, as they often have, would need to do the heavy lifting this year to keep Pfeiffer afloat. It could happen but will she even be remembered by December?

Here are my predictions for Best Actress as of April 17, 2018.

1. Viola Davis – Widows
2. Saoirse Ronan – Mary Queen of Scots
3. Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
4. Nicole Kidman – Destroyer
5. Glenn Close – The Wife
6. Kiki Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk
7. Renée Zellweger – Judy
8. Cate Blanchett – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
9. Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Fast Color
10. Poorna Jagannathan – Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share
Amy Adams – Untitled Dick Cheney biopic
Gemma Atherton – Vita and Virginia
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns
Jessica Chastain – Woman Walks Ahead
Kiersey Clemons – Hearts Beat Loud
Toni Collette – Hereditary
Penélope Cruz – Everybody Knows
Elizabeth Debicki – Vita and Virginia
Judi Dench – Red Joan
Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
Salma Hayek – The Hummingbird Project
Taraji P. Henson – The Best of Enemies
Isabelle Huppert – The Widow
Juli Jakab – Sunset
Dakota Johnson – Suspiria
Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex
Keira Knightley – The Aftermath
Keira Knightley – Colette
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Kelly Macdonald – Puzzle
Danielle Macdonald – Dumplin’
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie – Leave No Trace
Julianne Moore – Gloria
Chloë Grace Moretz – The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
Michelle Pfeiffer – Where Is Kyra?
Rosamund Pike – A Private War
Florence Pugh – Fighting with My Family
Gina Rodríguez – Miss Bala
Kristen Stewart – JT Leroy
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Hilary Swank – What They Had
Charlize Theron – Tully
Rachel Weisz – Disobedience
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
Constance Wu – Crazy Rich Asians

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST PICTURE (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST DIRECTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTRESS (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (April)

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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