Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Lynsey Weatherspoon / Orion Pictures

This category seems to have seven women vying for five slots, and that doesn’t include a wild card or two that may throw things off at the last minute. Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) are the sure things. Viola Davis (The Woman King) has been consistently nominated by the major precursors, while Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) was snubbed by the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA, prompting some to suggest she may return to the Best Supporting Actress race where most initially thought she would compete. Danielle Deadwyler (Till) missed with the Golden Globes but has been everywhere else, while Margot Robbie (Babylon) is on the BAFTA longlist but otherwise was cited only at the Globes. Ana de Armas (Blonde) has had an unexpectedly strong awards season run given the general dislike of her film and so far hasn’t missed anywhere. And then there’s Naomi Ackie (I Wanna Dance with Somebody), whose film was released late and hasn’t popped up anywhere except the BAFTA longlist, where she didn’t ultimately get nominated. It feels unlikely that a comedy favorite like Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), a BAFTA nominee, or Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) could surge this late in the race, but there’s one name that came from out of nowhere thanks to high-profile campaigning for her: Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie). Her film is small but good, and she’s a great actress who has appeared in well-known films like Birdman. It’s hard to imagine who she would bump, but being discussed just before voting has surely given her a tremendous boost.

Predictions: Blanchett, de Armas, Deadwyler, Williams, Yeoh

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