2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

this post was updated January 11th (FINAL PREDICTIONS)

Below you’ll find my FINAL 2016 Oscar predictions for the Actresses.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

In a category that appeared to be Brie Larson’s to lose, Saoirse Ronan and Jennifer Lawrence are two other talented young actresses with a real shot at winning. It looks like one spot is going to go to an older lady. Who will it be? Critics are championing Charlotte Rampling (45 years), while the branch put some early momentum behind Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold). I think it ultimately may go to someone else entirely.

My FINAL Predicted Nominees…

1. Brie Larson (Room)

There are some other contenders, especially with Room possibly being less of an overall player than it appeared to be a month ago, but she’s still a pretty heavy favorite. She’s a rising star. She carries the film. Critics and precursors have gone with her heavy.

2. Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn)

The best shot at beating Larson. Ronan is a remarkable young talent the Academy has cited in the past and Brooklyn appears to be surging when it matters most. The campaign is there. Like Larson, has shown up everywhere a true contender needs to thus far.

3. Cate Blanchett (Carol)

Definitely a safer bet than her co-star Mara given the category fraud. Also, the Academy LOVES Cate Blanchett. Carol is certainly one of her better turns and it’d be a deserving nod. However, I don’t think the buzz is there for her to actually win.

4. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

I really don’t care what folks are writing about Joy. I don’t even care that she missed a SAG nom (much of that has to do with the film). She’s Jennifer Lawrence, and she’s very good in the movie. She’s getting in.

5. Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van)

BAFTA went with her, confirming my year-long theory that the British and Old Folks vote alone keeps her in play. The film is very very small but I think she’ll surprise most come Oscar morning.

RIGHT on the Bubble…

6. Rooney Mara (Carol)

If the Academy does the right thing and fully commits to her as a lead, she’s in, and we could very well see two Carol actresses in this category (Mara > Blanchett in this movie, for what it’s worth). I’m worried she could miss out altogether though.

7. Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Another turn being campaigned as supporting that’s clearly a lead. Vikander probably could’ve won this one had she been campaigned correctly all along. Now there’s a chance she misses out altogether despite her outstanding year.

8. Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Critics and pundits have slotted her in for a while now, but I don’t know. She’s missed all the big precursors and given how small the film is those are really important.

9. Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold)

SAG went for it but the film came out early to negative reviews. We know the branch loves her though.

And your Possible Spoilers…

10. Blythe Danner (I’ll See You in My Dreams)

Can she leapfrog Rampling, Mirren, and Smith for this TINY film? I think not.

11. Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Maybe there’s a Mad Max lovefest, though that alone isn’t enough to get her in. Some critics groups have tried hard to get her in play but I’m not sure it’s happened.

12. Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back)

What does the SAG nom mean for her? Is the movie big enough? I think she’s a dark horse. There’s some real narrative heft here.

13. Lily Tomlin (Grandma)

Globes bit but SAG didn’t, and she needed the latter much more. This seemed like a sure thing early in the year but I’d argue other veterans have surpassed her.

14. Carey Mulligan (Suffragette)

The film has been panned and doesn’t seem to be in play anywhere else, though critics love her role and she’s obviously a very popular actress.

15. Emily Blunt (Sicario)

If Sicario is a bigger player than we think they could go for her as a surprise.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Category fraud plagues this category, as two of the frontrunners -Rooney Mara for Carol and Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl– are actually leads. Could this make way for Kate Winslet to win the Oscar like the sown the Globe?

My FINAL Predicted Nominees…

1. Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Don’t think she can win, but she’s probably the safest bet for a nom. She’s been mentioned by all the key precursors and Oscar loves her. Globe winner. Steve Jobs being a flop doesn’t matter.

2. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)

The best shot The Hateful Eight has at winning an Oscar. The overdue narrative is alive and the critics have gone for her.

3. Rooney Mara (Carol)

There’s a chance she gets in lead, or gets left out altogether. Ultimately, I believe the Academy will do what SAG did and slot her in here. The performance needs to be cited SOMEWHERE.

4. Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

SAG went for her which was big. She’s not the best in Spotlight but she’s certainly good enough to get in given its BP status. Popular actress, never nominated before.

5. Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

Welp, I’ve officially jumped ship and I think this is the role Vikander gets nominated for. The film is getting a late push and Globes, BAFTA, and some critics went for here her. I think there are voters who will go with this AND her in lead for The Danish Girl. 2015 was her year, we all just happened to be living in it.

RIGHT on the Bubble…

6. Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Because I’m possibly probably a clueless moron. This being the film Vikander is nominated for has been the consensus all year. But it’s really a lead, and the film is fading.

7. Helen Mirren (Trumbo)

This is her most likely nom. A lot of precursors have gone for it. She’s Helen Mirren so she can get in for anything, even freakin’ Trumbo.

8. Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)

Globe and SAG misses aren’t great but Oscar tends to look closer at small films. Many critics have gone for it.

And your Possible Spoilers…

9. Marion Cotillard (MacBeth)

Not much press on a campaign for MacBeth or word on if voters even actually watched this film. But she’s Marion Cotillard. She got in for Two Days, One Night.

10. Julie Walters (Brooklyn)

BAFTA went for her. If Brooklyn is as big of player as I think it is she’s definitely in the hunt.

11. Jane Fonda (Youth)

Youth is fading, and she really only has one scene, but she does steal the movie and is obviously a widely respected actress.

12. Joan Allen (Room)

Needs Room to land all over the place on Oscar morning, obviously. But she does resurrect the second half of the movie.

13. Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy)

Really felt like she needed the precursors for people to really consider her, even though critics have singled her out. A shame, because she’s deserving.

14. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa)

It’s voice work, but it’s amongst the most impactful voice work ever. Is it a lead though? Doesn’t really seem possible but I wanted to mention her for this as well. Great year for JJL.

15. Tessa Thompson (Creed)

Creed would really need to surprise some folks but she brings life to a character that otherwise could’ve been a typical love interest. Rising star.



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