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Best Actress sees some movement this month, all over the top 10.
After her hot debut last month on the heels of the trailer for A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga finds herself in the top 5. It might seem easy to dismiss the songstress in her lead feature debut but we’ve seen many examples of singers-turned-actresses finding Oscar glory in both wins and nominations. Barbra Streisand and Cher have both won Best Actress; Bette Midler was nominated for a singing performance in The Rose. Madonna in Evita is probably the closest example one could make for Gaga to falter but A Star Is Born will likely have stronger reviews and better box office. Plus, Gaga is already an Oscar nominee (in Original Song), so she’s no stranger to the Academy.
Nicole Kidman moves up and into the top 3 with the Annapurna-distributed Destroyer. We don’t have a release date yet (nor do we for another Annapurna release with a Best Actress contender, If Beale Street Could Talk) but the Oscar winner is set for another wildly diverse film year; she’s already had her punk mom role in How to Talk to Girls at Parties and has the quiet, tender mom in the upcoming gay conversion drama Boy Erased (which could put her in double nomination territory) plus another potential Emmy nomination next month in Top of the Lake: China Girl. Kidman is in possibly the best era of her career and the Academy respects her.
Cate Blanchett vacates the chart this month as it was announced that Where’d You Go, Bernadette was moved to Spring 2019. That left an opening and the Oscar talk for (previous Oscar nominee) Toni Collette in Hereditary has been quite deafening this month and she enters the top 10 at #9 for me, albeit a cautiously optimistic move up. The film will be a modest hit and could end up being A24’s biggest (it’s at half the total of Lady Bird right now), but that D- Cinemascore shows the audience wouldn’t be behind it. Not that the Academy plays to the audiences’ desires all that much but it does give me pause from putting her in the top 5.
Lady Gaga’s move up pushes 6-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close (The Wife) out of the top 5 for the month. We’ll see if Sony Pictures Classics can make this August release a champ for never-winning Close.
Below the top 10, I’m most curious about Rachel Weisz in The Favourite. It seems she will be the lead push for the film, which keeps moving up the charts for me as I feel it will be Fox Searchlight’s #1 priority this year. Weisz hasn’t been in the Oscar conversation since her Supporting Actress win for 2005’s The Constant Gardener and if the film is indeed the main awards push for FS, she’ll break into that top 10 soon.
The success of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg doc RBG could bode very well for Oscar nominee Felicity Jones, who will play her this fall in Focus Features’ On the Basis of Sex. I still have her just outside at #6 for a second month but she’s an absolute contender, even with Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots from the same studio, who is locked at #2 for the fourth month in a row.
Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions for Best Actress as of June 19, 2018.
Green – moves up
Red – moves down
Blue – chart debut
|1. Viola Davis – Widows|
|2. Saoirse Ronan – Mary Queen of Scots|
|3. Nicole Kidman – Destroyer|
|4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Melissa McCarthy|
|5. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born|
|6. Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex|
|7. Glenn Close – The Wife|
|8. Renée Zellweger – Judy|
|9. Toni Collette – Hereditary|
|10. Kiki Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk|
|Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns|
|Poorna Jagannathan – Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share|
|Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Fast Color|
|Julianne Moore – Gloria Bell|
|Rachel Weisz – The Favourite|
|Amy Adams – Backseat|
|Gemma Atherton – Vita and Virginia|
|Jessica Chastain – Woman Walks Ahead|
|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|
|Dakota Johnson – Suspiria|
|Keira Knightley – Colette|
|Danielle Macdonald – Dumplin’|
|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|
|Hilary Swank – What They Had|
|Charlize Theron – Tully|
|Constance Wu – Crazy Rich Asians|