My big announcement today is the selection of my first candidates for Best Actress in the 2020 Oscar field! If you happened to miss my predictions for the supporting categories and Best Actor, you can find them right here:
Unlike Best Actor, none of my initial top 5 picks here have seen their pictures screened. As discussed in previous posts, 2020 is a mighty speculative year for these early August estimates. The potential contenders are certainly some heavy hitters and it was, frankly, hard to whittle the list to this quintet. 4 of my 5 choices here are past winners. Both Viola Davis and Jennifer Hudson are Supporting Actress victors for 2016’s Fences and 2006’s Dreamgirls respectively. Frances McDormand is a two-time lead Actress winner for 1996’s Fargo and 2017’s Three Billboards Outside, Missouri. Kate Winslet took this prize in 2008 for The Reader. The only non-winner is Michelle Pfeiffer and she’s been nominated three times. If she makes it here, it would mark her first nod in 28 years since 1992’s Love Field.
This is in addition to acclaimed actresses such as Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, and Julianne Moore as possibilities and up and comers like Jessie Buckley, Liu Yifei, and Rachel Zegler. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the silver screen return of cinematic legend Sophia Loren. She last won an Oscar for Two Women some 60 years ago. Elisabeth Moss has two already released pics for which she’s received solid reviews. Of the two, Shirley seems more viable than the horror hit The Invisible Man.
In 2019, my original late summer projections yielded a whopping 4 of the 5 eventual nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). In my ten other possibilities, I also identified eventual trophy recipient Renee Zellweger as Judy.
Lots of intrigue in this race and here’s the first take:
EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Jennifer Hudson, Respect
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
Kate Winslet, Ammonite
Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy
Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Rashida Jones, On the Rocks
Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead
Julianne Moore, The Glorias
Elisabeth Moss, Shirley
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Liu Yifei, Mulan
Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
That completes the acting portions of the early predictions and Best Director is up next! Until then…