This post was updated January 22nd and these predictions are FINAL
The Predicted Nominees
For the win it still appears to be Emma Stone vs Natalie Portman. Both performances are exceptional, albeit very different, so I’d give a slight edge to Stone because the Academy loves La La Land a lot more than they love Jackie. Meryl Streep, always a threat, has had a much stronger season than we thought for the silly but fun Florence Foster Jenkins. It’s a “minor” turn for her. But she’s still Streep, and there aren’t really any other contenders I feel comfortable slotting ahead of her. The Globes speech only helped. Amy Adams should be safe for yet another nomination, especially if the Academy likes Arrival as much as I think they do. The actors branch certainly has her back and they choose the nominees. The campaign for acting legend Isabelle Huppert has been strong, but is it strong enough to get her win for a little-seen foreign language film considering she missed SAG? This spot could easily go to any of the five in my next group instead.
1) Emma Stone (La La Land)
2) Natalie Portman (Jackie)
3) Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
4) Amy Adams (Arrival)
5) Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Right in the Hunt.
Hidden Figures is a popular film with a likely best picture nom heading it’s way. Maybe that’s enough to get Taraji P. Henson in, despite her being far from the best performer in the film (Spencer, Monae, Costner all better for my money). While 20th Century Women never really got off the ground, there’s still a ton of love for Annette Bening. Just how much does the branch love her compared to Huppert/Henson/etc? That’s the question. She looked much safer earlier in the season. Missing SAG was big. Much like Bening, Ruth Negga hasn’t really received the accolades she was expected to and her films seems dead in the water. But the performance is strong enough to keep her in consideration. Emily Blunt surprised everyone getting a SAG nom for the mostly-panned The Girl on the Train? Was that the actors thinking outside-the-box, a statement of British love for Blunt, or an actual indication that she could be an Oscar nominee? I have no clue. What I do know is it’ll be a shame if it’s her first nom because she’s been so much better so many times before.
6) Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
7) Annette Bening (20th Century Women)
8) Ruth Negga (Loving)
9) Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)
10) Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)