Wed. Feb 19th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (June)

Amy Adams on the set of 20th Century Fox’s The Woman in the Window

No changes in this month’s top 5 for Best Actress. Cynthia Erivo (Focus Features’ Harriet) remains atop and she’s not going to budge, I’m certainly not going to move her, as this is one of those ‘locked from the casting announcement’ kind of categories. I think she’s taking it all the way, it’s just a matter of who’s coming along the awards season journey with her.

That means Saoirse Ronan (Sony’s Little Women), Amy Adams (Fox’s The Woman in the Window), Meryl Streep (Netflix’s The Laundromat – but is she lead or supporting?) and Awkwafina (A24’s The Farwell) all hold in place. For now.

Scarlett Johansson is the sole uptick this month, for the Untitled Noah Baumbach, which is going to be a big push for Netflix. She has another major contender this fall in Fox Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit but I think she’ll be pushed supporting there. Speaking of Fox Searchlight, bumping Johansson up bumped two-time Best Actress winner Frances McDormand (Nomadland) down. The film will probably see a 2019 release (a Telluride debut makes sense and put her right back in) but without more I’m not comfortable with a top 10 spot. Plus, they also have Natalie Portman in Lucy in the Sky. and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Downhill, the English-language remake of Force Majeure. But, if anyone knows how to juggle multiple actresses in a single year for nominations and wins it’s Fox Searchlight.

Unlike Antonio Banderas’s Best Actor win at Cannes, I don’t see Best Actress winner Emily Beecham in Little Joe making any type of impact. With no US distributor attached and a host of much more formidable competition (no to mention that Metacritic score), her path is almost non-existent.

The Other Contenders list is ripe for some potential upsets to my current top 10. Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, who broke through last year in Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, might find herself in the conversation this year with Jojo Rabbit. She also has high-profile roles in Netflix’s The King with Timothée Chalamet and The True History of the Kelly Gang with Nicholas Hoult.

Amazon has a trio of previous Best Actress nominees and a winner in Felicity Jones (The Aeronauts), Rosamund Pike (Radioactive, listed as a 2020 release) and Emma Thompson (Late Night) but I think their major actress push will be Kristen Stewart as screen legend Jean Seberg in Against All Enemies. I can see a Venice debut starting off her track, then to Toronto and becoming a staple throughout the season. Amazon has a lot of cards to play, they just need to play them right.

Neon has some candidates in the Sundance hit Clemency (Alfre Woodard), the possible breakout for Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose) and two-time nominee Naomi Watts in Luce.

We also have the potential for Charlize Theron to return to the Oscar conversation in Jay Roach’s Untitled Roger Ailes (aka Fair and Balanced) about the women of Fox News. The first set images of Theron (and the rest of the cast, that includes Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and more) were nothing short of astonishing in terms of her transformation. A lot rides on the tone and point of view of the film. Is it satire? Is it a drama? Is it this year’s Vice?

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Actress for June 13, 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. Amy Adams – The Woman in the Window (20th Century Fox)
4. Meryl Streep – The Laundromat (Netflix)
5. Awkwafina – The Farewell (A24)

NEXT UP (alphabetical)

Scarlett Johansson – Untitled Noah Baumbach (Netflix)
Helen Mirren – The Good Liar (Warner Bros)
Natalie Portman – Lucy in the Sky (Fox Searchlight)
Kristen Stewart – Against All Enemies (Amazon)
Jodie Turner-Smith – Queen & Slim (Universal)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical)

Juliette Binoche – The Truth (IFC Films)
Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose (Neon)
Anne Hathaway – The Last Thing He Wanted (Netflix)
Felicity Jones – The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Thomasin Mackenzie – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Isabelle Huppert – Frankie (Sony Classics)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Downhill (Fox Searchlight)
Lesley Manville – Normal People (Bleecker Street)
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Fox Searchlight)
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)
Emma Thompson – Late Night (Amazon)
Naomi Watts – Luce (Neon)
Kate Winslet – Ammonite (TBD)
Alfre Woodard – Clemency (Neon)
Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions)


4 thoughts on “2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (June)

  1. Racist list much? Lupita has been a front runner with every other Oscar prediction… Except this one. In fact, all of your top contenders are more white than a marshmallow Factory. You managed to get one Asian in there, which is at least a breath of fresh air, but I would like to think with compelling performances from Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong’o, those two would at least make the top 10.

    1. Let’s get one thing out of the way: if you ever call me or anything I write on my site racist again it will be deleted and you will be banned from commenting. Period. It shows you either have never read anything I’ve written or championed on my site over the last six years or are choosing to ignore it. Moving forward, Nyong’o was on my initial Best Actress top 10 in April but I don’t believe she will have the lasting power to make it the rest of the year. She’s on lists because it’s a great performance and people who make them only have only seen a handful of contenders. I don’t only predict things I’ve seen. If she lands on lots of critics lists then she’ll absolutely be back in the conversation. For Alfre Woodard, whom I mention in the write-up, her film recently got slated for a December 27th release and in a condensed awards season, where Oscar nomination voting begins January 2nd, this makes it very difficult for her to gain traction unless Neon gets the film at every fall festival and she lands other nominations. You missed Jodie Turner-Smith for Queen & Slim in my top 10, btw. So, if you would like to continue commenting here please do so in a way that is constructive and not accusatory.

  2. The inclusion of Kristen Stewart is confusing. They held a test screening and it was not good. AAE was slow and boring, with an abrupt ending that left the audience confused. They did some editing and had a second screening and the results were not drastically different. You don’t get a best actress nom out of a movie like that, especially not with the competition this year.

    So I’d really like to know the basis for her inclusion in this list. Unless you were at one of the screenings and think it was better than the test audience did, I don’t understand why a film you haven’t seen would lead you to believe she has any chance at all, given she has no record of Oscar noms or even a Golden Globe nomination. I often see her name on lists like this for films that end up with no nominations and wonder why?

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