In the middle of all of the festival lineup announcements, which are all a part of the abacus-like, ever-moving machine of Oscar predicting, the New York Times dropped a bombshell in their profile of two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson where it was revealed that Searchlight Pictures, who released Thompson’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande directly to Hulu on June 17 after its Sundance 2022 debut, had appealed to the Academy to have the film considered for the Oscars (and not the Emmys, as was expected). Normally, a film must have an exclusive seven-day minimum theatrical run in a major metropolitan city (not just LA and NY anymore) before it can be made available VOD or on a streaming platform. The previous two years of Oscar eligibility blurred those lines as the Academy made accommodations while theaters were closed for the better part of 18 months due to the COVID pandemic.
Working on the notion that the film was intended for a theatrical release in the U.S. (it did receive one abroad) but was hampered by the ongoing COVID pandemic, the Academy agreed and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is now eligible for film awards at the Oscars, BAFTA, SAG, PGA, Critics Choice, Golden Globes and more. Thompson’s performance was met with nothing short of ‘career best’ kudos for the actress, who bares all as a woman who hires a sex worker (played by Daryl McCormack) in a funny and emotional story of female sexuality that takes place almost entirely in a single hotel room.
So where does that put Thompson, who hasn’t been nominated since her Adapted Screenplay win for Sense and Sensibility over 25 years ago, in the Best Actress race? As we are just around the corner from the fall festivals showing us several of this year’s contenders for the first time, Thompson benefits by being one of the very few major players whose film and performance have been seen and is drawing raves. It’s what has kept Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) at or near the top since March and gives Thompson a leg up in the race, and just in time. With the likes of Olivia Colman, Cate Blanchett, Margot Robbie, Naomie Ackie, Ana de Armas and Danielle Deadwyler, among others coming down the pike, the race to keep her place will be a fight.
Here are my 2023 Oscar predictions in Best Actress for August 2022.
Green – moves up ↑ Red – moves down ↓ Blue – new entry ♦
1. Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) ↑
2. Margot Robbie – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) ↓
3. Olivia Colman – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)
4. Cate Blanchett – TÁR (Focus Features) ↑
5. Naomie Ackie – I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Columbia Pictures) ↓
6. Emma Thompson – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (Searchlight Pictures) ♦
7. Ana De Armas – Blonde (Netflix) ↑
8. Danielle Deadwyler – Till (UAR/Orion) ↑
9. Carey Mulligan – She Said (Universal Pictures) ↓ – lead or supporting?
10. Viola Davis – The Woman King (Columbia Pictures)
11. Tang Wei – Decision to Leave (MUBI) ↑
12. Jennifer Lawrence – Causeway (Apple Original Films) ↑
13. Emma Corrin – Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix) ↓
14. Florence Pugh – Don’t Worry Darling (Warner Bros) ↑
15. Jessica Chastain – The Good Nurse (Netflix) ↓
16. Zoe Kazan – She Said (Universal Pictures) ↑ – lead or supporting?
17. Regina King – Shirley (Netflix) ↓ – 2022 or 2023?
18. Rooney Mara – Women Talking (MGM/UAR) – lead or supporting?
19. Claire Foy – Women Talking (MGM/UAR) – lead or supporting? ♦
20. Greta Gerwig – White Noise (Netflix) – lead or supporting?
Other contenders (alphabetical):
- Yalitza Aparicio – Presences (VIX)
- Doona Bae – Broker (NEON)
- Melissa Barrera – Carmen (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Juliette Binoche – Paradise Highway (Lionsgate)
- Emma Corrin – My Policeman (Amazon Studios)
- Charlbi Dean – Triangle of Sadness (NEON)
- Sally Hawkins – The Lost King (IFC Films)
- Manal Issa – The Swimmers (Netflix)
- Nathalie Issa – The Swimmers (Netflix)
- Lesley Manville – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Focus Features)
- Margot Robbie – Amsterdam (20th Century Studios)
- Saoirse Ronan – Foe (Amazon Studios)
- Taylor Russell – Bones and All (MGM/UAR)
- Joanna Scanlan – After Love (Vertigo Releasing)
- Léa Seydoux – One Fine Morning (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Anya Taylor-Joy – The Menu (Searchlight Pictures)
- Anamaria Vartolomei – Happening (IFC Films) ↓
- Patricia Clarkson – Fair Fight – TBD
- Marion Cotillard – Brother and Sister – TBD
- Marion Cotillard – The Brutalist – TBD
- Penélope Cruz – L’Immensita – TBD
- Virginie Efira – Revoir Paris – TBD
- Anne Hathaway – Eileen – TBD
- Talia Ryder – Joika – TBD
- Shailene Woodley – Misanthrope – TBD
Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures