Best Actress continues to the year’s most stacked and competitive categories and that’s a good thing. It also means that some major names, including previous Oscar winners, will likely have to make room for newcomers and seemingly solid contenders might find themselves struggling for a nomination.
I’m keeping Glenn Close (The Wife) at #1 for another month. With her overdue narrative and early release film, she stood alone in August and September as the only real frontrunner here. She just earned a Gotham nomination this morning and something about that made me think of Julianne Moore, who started her Oscar run for Still Alice with a Gotham nomination and win. If Close wins the Gotham that could mark the real beginning of her path. But, considering she’s not up against any likely Best Actress Oscar nominees it may be a moot point.
Her main competition are either in higher budgeted films (Lady Gaga, Viola Davis) or were nominated in Breakthrough instead (KiKi Layne, Yalitza Aparicio). Then there’s Melissa McCarthy, who didn’t get a Gotham nomination even though her co-star Richard E. Grant, did. Olivia Colman wasn’t nominated because the Gotham acting committee chose to reward the ensemble of women together. Toni Collette in Hereditary is Close’s closest competition for the Gotham but I don’t see her making a huge impact on the Oscars, as much as she deserves to be nominated. I want to place her higher. I just worry that her film may be a bridge too far for voters.
Lady Gaga is solidly at #2 and she has the reviews and box office to back up a very successful awards run this season. The decision to have A Star Is Born placed in Drama at the Golden Globes was not a surprise but definitely creates a more interesting race. She’ll be going up against Close there and maybe even Colman and/or McCarthy if Fox Searchlight submits them there. We just saw them do that with both Sally Hawkins and eventual winner Frances McDormand when they could have easily had McDormand in Comedy/Musical.
Speaking of Colman and Fox Searchlight, the category placements for The Favourite were finally revealed last week with Colman being pushed lead with Oscar winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz battling it out against each other in supporting. Colman is a hugely respected actress and with the support of the ‘British’ contingent of the Academy could find herself in a very good spot to spoil as everyone focuses on Close and Gaga.
With Stone and Weisz out of this race, that allows movement for a handful of actresses in the 6-10 arena and beyond. KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk) moves up one this month, Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex) returns to the top 10 and Julia Roberts goes from a contender to the Next Up section.
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA) hold on to their spots. So does Nicole Kidman for Destroyer, which just dropped a killer trailer this week. Can she be a double nominee this year? Or will she be a double snub?
Viola Davis (Widows) is the only drop in the top 10 and I do not feel good about it. It doesn’t make sense. I think Widows will be a strong player at the box office and with the Oscars, unless the Academy finds it too genre. But those lines keep disappearing every year so why not here? Davis makes such sense as a nominee but who goes? I’m sure most people would say Aparicio, and they may be right, but I can’t deny how strong of a player Netflix is (or is aiming to be) this year.
The month’s sole debut is Emily Blunt as Paramount has decided to run her in lead for A Quiet Place. An interesting choice as Blunt also has Mary Poppins Returns, which seems a more likely chance. This move could cancel out her chances or give her a boost for MPR.
Here are my 2019 Oscar Predictions in Best Actress for October 18, 2018.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut
1. Glenn Close – The Wife (Sony Classics)
2. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
3. Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
4. Olivia Colman – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
5. Yalitza Aparicio – ROMA (Netflix)
6. Viola Davis – Widows (20th Century Fox)
7. Nicole Kidman – Destroyer (Annapurna)
8. KiKi Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
9. Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features)
10. Saoirse Ronan – Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features)
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney)
Toni Collette – Hereditary (A24)
Keira Knightley – Colette (Bleecker Street)
Julia Roberts – Ben is Back (Roadside Attractions)
Carey Mulligan – Wildlife (IFC Films)
Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place (Paramount)
Sandra Bullock – Bird Box (Netflix)
Regina Hall – Support the Girls (Magnolia)
Rosamund Pike – A Private War (Aviron Pictures)
Hilary Swank – What They Had (Bleecker Street)
Charlize Theron – Tully (Focus Features)
Constance Wu – Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros)
Renée Zellweger – Judy (LD Entertainment)