Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (July)

Scarlett Johansson with Adam Driver in Marriage Story (photo: Netflix)

You might think that Scarlett Johansson’s “[I] should be able to play any person, or any tree, or any animal” answer to a question about political correctness in art from an interview with As If would be enough to tank her Oscar chances but you’d probably be wrong. The actress has received backlash twice (albeit online backlash) for her role in Ghost in the Shell and the role of a trans male in the upcoming Tex Gill biopic Rub & Tug, the latter of which she backed out of as a result of that backlash. She responded to the criticism of her comments in As If, calling them “taken wildly out of context” and adding: “I recognise that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours Caucasian, cisgender actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to.” When all is said and done, it’s highly unlikely this will come back to bite her, especially in light of how little controversy impacted last season’s Oscar race despite being awash with it. With word of mouth on the new Baumbach (aka Marriage Story) being very good, the four-time Golden Globe nominee might finally find her first Oscar nomination – or first and second if she pulls off a nomination in supporting as well.

As did Eddie Redmayne in Best Actor, Felicity Jones rises in the hot air balloon drama Aeronauts, all the way into the top 5 this month. Again, excellent word of mouth on this adventure drama and a strong festival run could find this Amazon release far above the crowd. Oscar winner Renée Zellweger bounces back up into the Next Up section once again on the strength of the new trailer for Judy, the end of career/life biopic of the legendary Judy Garland. Zellweger asserts herself quite well in the new trailer, which emphasizes her singing and some real hand-wringing family drama with her own legendary daughter Liza Minnelli.

These bumps up mean someone has to fall and this month we have one big one: 6-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams is out of the race as 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios have pulled the release of The Woman in the Window for retooling. The last of the Fox 2000 production unit that Disney shuttered when it purchased Fox, test screenings for the mystery thriller left audiences confused and director Joe Wright is set for five days of reshoots later this year for a 2020 release. Meryl Streep drops, but only into Next Up, for The Laundromat from Netflix. She is also a recipient of the new Lead or Supporting? that plagues a handful of performance that are yet to be seen.

Also new this month that fall under that distinction: Catherine Deneuve in The Truth from IFC Films, and Academy Award winner Allison Janney in Bad Education (currently without distribution). Also added are two Oscar winners: Cate Blanchett in Annapurna’s Where’d You Go Bernadette, which has seen more release date changes and moves than anything this season, and Anne Hathaway in the new Todd Haynes (Dry Run) for Focus Features.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Actress for July 18, 2019.

Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry

1. Cynthia Erivo – Harriet (Focus Features)
2. Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
3. Awkwafina – The Farewell (A24)
4. Felicity Jones – Aeronauts (Amazon)
5. Scarlett Johansson – Untitled Noah Baumbach aka Marriage Story (Netflix)

NEXT UP (alphabetical)

Natalie Portman – Lucy in the Sky (Fox Searchlight)
Kristen Stewart – Against All Enemies (Amazon)
Meryl Streep – The Laundromat (Netflix)
Jodie Turner-Smith – Queen & Slim (Universal)
Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical)

Juliette Binoche – The Truth (IFC Films)
Cate Blanchett – Where’d You Go Bernadette (Annapurna)
Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose (Neon)
Catherine Deneuve – The Truth (IFC Films)
Anne Hathaway – The Last Thing He Wanted (Netflix)
Anne Hathaway – Untitled Todd Hayes aka Dry Run (Focus Features)
Allison Janney – Bad Education (TBD)
Brie Larson – Just Mercy (Warner Bros)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Downhill (Fox Searchlight)
Lesley Manville – Normal People (Bleecker Street)
Melissa McCarthy – The Kitchen (Warner Bros)
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren – The Good Liar (Warner Bros)
Julianne Moore – Gloria Bell (A24)
Julianne Moore – The Glorias: Life on the Road (TBD)
Lupita Nyong’o – Us (Universal)
Rosamund Pike – Radioactive (Amazon)
Charlize Theron – Untitled Roger Ailes aka Fair and Balanced (Lionsgate)
Naomi Watts – Luce (Neon)
Kate Winslet – Ammonite (TBD)
Alfre Woodard – Clemency (Neon)


Juliette Binoche – The Truth (IFC Films)
Catherine Deneuve – The Truth (IFC Films)
Allison Janney – Bad Education (TBD)
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Brie Larson – Just Mercy (Warner Bros)
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Margaret Qualley – Against All Enemies (Amazon)
Kristen Stewart – Against All Enemies (Amazon)
Meryl Streep – The Laundromat (Netflix)

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