Although I still very comfortable with Renée Zellweger singing her way to a 2nd Oscar win in Judy, Charlize Theron in Bombshell is going to give her a run for her money.
Ever since we saw the first set pics of Theron as Fox News villainess Megyn Kelly, she’s been on everyone’s Oscar radar. Since her Academy Award win for Monster over 15 years ago, Theron has been churning out indelible and incredible chameleon-like performances in film after film without the recognition that her male counterparts often get for doing the same thing. Mad Max: Fury Road, Young Adult, Atomic Blonde and The Huntsman have all given us so much variation (with the first two deserving of real awards attention) that sometimes I think she’s overlooked as already ‘having it all.’ With Bombshell she gets to play a real person, undergo dramatic makeup and voice transformations and really show audiences and voters how devoted and committed to her craft she is. Not to mention that the film has now screened for critics and voters (to raves) with Q&As and appearances already for a film that doesn’t come out until December 20.
Theron isn’t the only move up this month. Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story) and Awkwafina (The Farewell) inch up as the stock for Cynthia Erivo in Harriet keeps moving down. At this point, what seemed like not just an easy nomination but a likely win (on paper), is now in danger of making the cut entirely.
So, who would benefit the most if Erivo fails to get a nomination? Right now it would be Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), who falls this month in favor of Theron. 3-time Oscar nominee Ronan has been a placeholder since the beginning of Oscar predictions and can easily bounce back for me once the film is seen and if Erivo falls any further. Also, proven contender and previous Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o in Us can be that beneficiary if Universal positions her on the circuit.
Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) and Alfre Woodard (Clemency) move up but largely because the bench of contenders in Best Actress is so thin. I’ve eliminated the Watch Out For section entirely already because there simply aren’t enough realistic candidates. That said, with Queen & Slim hitting AFI FEST and Clemency landing festival after festival and Woodard being given spotlights and tributes at them, that opens the door in a very shaky field.
Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Actress for October 17, 2019.
Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry
1. Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions)
2. Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Awkwafina – The Farewell (A24)
4. Cynthia Erivo – Harriet (Focus Features)
5. Charlize Theron – Bombshell (Lionsgate)
NEXT UP (alphabetical by actor)
Felicity Jones – The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Lupita Nyong’o – Us (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
Jodie Turner-Smith – Queen & Slim (Universal)
Alfre Woodard – Clemency (Neon)
OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by actor)
Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose (Neon)
Helen Mirren – The Good Liar (Warner Bros)
Julianne Moore – Gloria Bell (A24)
Kristen Stewart – Seberg (Amazon)
Constance Wu – Hustlers (STX)