Oscar Predictions: Till

Danielle Deadwyler’s performance as Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of lynched Emmett Till in 1955 has come into focus this weekend. Chinonye Chukwu’s Till premiered at the New York Film Festival prior to its October 14th theatrical release. Over the past several months, I’ve had Deadwyler either just making the Best Actress cut in fifth or on the outside looking in at sixth.

Now that reviews are out, it appears she’s fully in. Critics are raving about her work to the extent that Deadwyler is a threat to win. The Rotten Tomatoes score for the picture itself is 100% though many write-ups claim it’s her performance that elevates the material. It’s unlikely any costars get attention. They include Jalyn Hall as her slain son, Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Ms. Deadwyler enters an already crowded Best Actress field where I’ve had Cate Blanchett (Tar) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) slotted in first and second. There’s also Michelle Williams and Universal’s curious decision to campaign for her in lead for The Fabelmans. Let’s not forget Olivia Colman (Empire of Light) and Viola Davis (The Woman King) or Ana de Armas (Blonde) and the as yet unseen Margot Robbie for Babylon (though I’m currently putting her in Supporting Actress).

Even with that considerable competition, Deadwyler seems pretty safe and there’s a narrative in which she moves past the aforementioned to claim gold. A better question is whether Till picks up any other nominations. Picture is not impossible, but I’d say it’s iffy. Adapted Screenplay is more feasible as that race is on the weak side (compared to 2022’s original hopefuls). There’s also an original song titled “Stand Up” that I expect to contend.

Bottom line: like Blanchett and Yeoh particularly, we have another close to sure thing in the lead actress field. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

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