Monday, February 13, 2012

85th Oscar Lead Actress Updates (2012-2013 Awards Season) (2/13/12)

For the past few months, the onslaught of precursor news (to say nothing of the actual nominations themselves) has distracted me from looking even further into my crystal ball towards future years. That ends today, as I begin a new round of predictions for NEXT year’s Oscars.

We start with the Lead Actress race. The last time that I updated this category was in May, and as a result there are some major changes in the rankings, as several films that I previously predicted have been pushed to other years, and new films have been announced. The new front-runner is Helen Hunt, for the Sundance film The Surrogate.

Updates for the other acting categories will go up over the next week, and several of your favorite actresses might show up in the supporting category, so keep checking back.

1. Helen Hunt for The Surrogate (Predicted Winner) (New)
2. Marion Cotillard for Lowlife (New)
3. Meryl Streep for Great Hope Springs (previous rank 21)
4. Sandra Bullock for Gravity (previous rank 50)
5. Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina (previous rank 18)

6. Nicole Kidman for My Wild Life (New)
7. Viola Davis for Won’t Back Down (previous rank 7)
8. Carey Mulligan for The Great Gatsby (previously listed in supporting, rank 16)
9. Laura Linney for Hyde Park On Hudson (previously listed in supporting, rank 8)
10. Virginia Madsen for The Magic Of Belle Isle (previous rank 16 for the role, although the actress has changed)
11. Andrea Riseborough for Shadow Dancer (New)
12. Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts Of The Southern Wild (New)
13. Helen Mirren for The Door (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 31)
14. Penelope Cruz for Into The World (Venuto Al Mondo) (New)
15. Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Smashed (New)
16. Dakota Fanning for Effie (previous rank 24 for the role, although the actress has changed)
17. Amanda Seyfried for Lovelace (New)
18. Maggie Gyllenhaal for Won’t Back Down (previous rank 13)
19. Emayatzy E. Corinealdi for Middle Of Nowhere (New)
20. Julianne Moore for What Maisie Knew (New)
21. Marion Cotillard for Rust & Bone (New)
22. Kristen Wiig for Imogene (New)
23. Rachel McAdams for Untitled Terrence Malick Project (formerly The Burial) (previously ranked 30)
24. Maggie Smith for Quartet (previous rank 15)
25. Abbie Cornish for The Girl (previously ranked 40)

26. Gwyneth Paltrow for Thanks For Sharing (New)
27. Michelle Williams for Take This Waltz (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 28)
28. Diane Keaton for Darling Companion (previous rank 17)
29. Sanaa Lathan for Macbett: The Caribbean Macbeth (previous rank 3)
30. Elizabeth Olsen for Liberal Arts (New)
31. Judi Dench for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (previously listed in 84th Oscar supporting race, rank 47)
32. Naomi Watts for The Impossible (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 42)
33. Mia Wasikowska for Stoker (previously ranked 38)
34. Ziyi Zhang for The Grandmasters (previous rank 10)
35. Brit Marling for The East (New)
36. Melanie Lynskey for Hello I Must Be Going (New)
37. Winona Ryder for The Stare (New)
38. Emily Blunt for Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (previously listed in 84th Oscar supporting race, rank 37)
39. Scarlett Johansson for Under The Skin (New)
40. Judy Davis for The Eye Of The Storm (New)
41. Naomi Watts for Sunlight Jr. (New)
42. Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 27)
43. Jordin Sparks for Sparkle (previously listed in 87th Oscar, rank 8 for the role, although the actress has changed)
44. Jannifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games (previous rank 47)
45. Taraji P. Henson for From The Rough (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 8)
46. Cameron Diaz for Gambit (previously ranked 41)
47. Mary J. Blige for Nina (previous rank 23)
48. Amy Adams for Trouble With The Curve (New)
49. Julianne Moore for The English Teacher (New)
50. Annette Bening for Hemingway & Fuentes (previous rank 30)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!   
See Lead Actress predictions for other years HERE.
Or check out the Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress predictions.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  


  1. Interesting set of predictions. I think I will be predicting Keira Knightley, Sandra Bullock and Helen Hunt (although I don't know which category to put her in yet) when I eventually do my first predictions. On first glance I thought Meryl Streep's film would be too lightweight to warrant a nomination, but though IMDB I discovered that it's directed by the guy who directed her to a nomination for The Devil Wears Prada. And it's Meryl Streep so anything is possible.

    Also, Amy Adams seems kind of low for Trouble With the Curve. She seems due for an Oscar and (despite J. Edgar missing out) the Oscars like actors from Eastwood films. Or are you thinking she submits in supporting?

    1. Thanks Ryan! I'm not entirely sure whether Hunt will be lead or supporting either, but the reviews that I've skimmed so far seem like it's a big role, which probably means they'll end up throwing her in.... supporting. Hahaha!

      For Meryl, It's more the fact that she's starring opposite Tommy Lee Jones (himself a winner and multiple nominee), which means that the academy members will at least watch it, and since it is a comedy it will likely get that extra Golden Globe bump. Or they could give her the win for something silly like this as a consolation for not winning this year with The Iron Lady.

      Adams will definitely show up in my supporting list for The Master (where I think she WILL get nominated), On The Road, and perhaps Trouble with the Curve again. My concern is that Curve is coming so soon after Moneyball, with both of them even having September releases. I realize that the stories won't be the same, of course, but the whole "aging scout" thing just feels like it will be too hard for critics not to compare it to those scenes around the Moneyball conference table--which will be fine if the film and performances are better than in Moneyball, but if not then I can see them piling on.

      I'm also not sure what to make of Curve's director Robert Lorenz. He spent a lot of time as a first and second assistant director, but then for the last eight years he moved to being a producer. Of course, it's possible that the film and performances could turn out to be fantastic, and that all those years working under Eastwood' tutelage will pay off in amazing ways. But even there the film has an "obey your elders" feel that worries me. Just imagine the on-set dynamics of a former pupil having to tell Clint that he doesn't like his acting in some scene, within the context of a film about young whipper-snappers pushing out the old-guard! I guess I just have too many doubts to trust it until I see a trailer.

    2. I guess Meryl's chances have changed since last night... Why do you think Fantasia has a better shot than Meryl in August: Osage County?

    3. I think Meryl's chances for Great Hope Springs probably dropped unless there is something truly fantastic in that film (why reward her twice in consecutive years), but she'll likely be back at least as a nominee for Osage County, presuming she does well.

      One of the challenges of predicting so many years and categories is that I only get to update them every so often, so sometimes it makes my predictions look a little strange when read out of that context. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure which year Osage would come out, and The Color Purple looked like a better bet. I'm not sure whether or not Fantasia will stay in that first position once I update them next time though.

    4. Thanks for the reply. That question of mine was simply out of curiosity as I'd never seen Fantasia's acting.

      I'm a huge Meryl fan so I'm (secretly) hoping she'll break Katharine Hepburn's Oscar record. :) She should have picked up a couple more in the past decade.

      This is a great site, by the way - letting me know what films to look forward to in the near and far future.

    5. Thanks! I too believe and hope that Meryl will eventually beat Hepburn's record, but I think it may take her a while yet. She's still pretty young by regular people standards (which is different than Hollywood standards, of course). I could see Osage County working for her as what I hear about it is that it would be something we haven't seen before. And then there's going to be plenty of grandmother roles that she'll be perfect for in a few decades.

      Really glad that you're enjoying the site! In many ways, I like the earlier predictions much more than the end of the race, as they are full of such possibilities!

  2. In recent years, the best actress cateogry seems to always come from "another world", heaving no connection what-so-ever to the best picture nominees, and it seems to ruturn in the 2012-2013 season.

    I'm alsow working on my predictions for the next year, this are my predicted Best Picture nominees:

    Django Unchained
    The Master
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Kill Bin-Laden
    Life of Pi
    Les Misérables
    The Dark Knight Rises
    The Gangster Squad

    1. I think it just speaks to the fact that the academy has a real male bias to their best picture contenders. During the years when there were ten this got hidden a bit because there were three films each year that got lead actress noms (Blindside, An Education, Precious, Black Swan, Winters Bone and The Kids Are All Right), but in a field of 5 it's quite possible that only 1 or 2 would have made it in each year, and that often seems to have been the case in the past too.

      It does seem a bit strange that with 9 nominees they only hit one of the actresses though (The Help).

      I like your picture list for next year, but I'm hoping that some more indie-style films can sneak in somewhere (although I'm not sure which ones yet, other than The Surrogate, presuming it picks up a lot of acting noms). Hopefully whichever ones they pick you'll like more than The Tree Of Life!

  3. Where's Sally Field Lincoln?

    1. I'm going to put Sally Field in supporting. I haven't read the book that the film is based on yet, and I don't know how closely they'll follow it, but I get the sense that it focuses more on the political side than the personal side of Lincoln's life. But I could be wrong about that!

  4. Rachel Weisz was just featured in the TIME Magazine, and her performance in The Deep Blue Sea was mentioned. Would this change her chance at all? Btw, I loved her in The Constant Gardener. :)

    But look at the top 10 on this list - they're all amazing actresses!

    1. I don't think that she has much of a chance at a nomination, given how early her film is coming out. The early release date tells me that either her studio doesn't think that she's a real contender, or they don't have the money and/or knowledge to do a real campaign. Either way would hurt her.

      But she will probably move up in my next set of predictions. Maybe somewhere in the high 20's to low 30's. If the performance is really as good as they say, then she could even sneak into the top 20 by the end of the year, but for now there are too many other possibilities.

      I do appreciate the critics who have been talking up her performance, especially at this time of year when all we are hearing about is The Hunger Games. If it gets a few more people to see an independent film then I think it is great. But the "machine" aspect of Oscar campaigns, as well as people WANTING there to be news this early, makes me think that it won't really last through the whole season.

    2. That's what I'm suspecting too. Sometimes I feel a bit sad that the awards are so much impacted by the campaigning but then I realize cinema is a form of art which itself is somewhat 'subjective' and therefore a fresher impression would be important for a film to be considered.
      Anyway, I'll just accept the fact that there are excellent films that don't end up getting any awards and enjoy them no matter what. :)
      Thanks for your reply!

    3. I agree with you. I don't think that there's any way of getting around the campaigns and the popularity though--in the Oscars or in anything else, for that matter.

      Still, lots of good films never get near the Oscars, so you've got the right attitude to just enjoy them no matter what!