The Academy has a lot of quality acting talent to sift through in the four acting categories this year.
For Best Actress, a race that began early-on as a close competition between Lady Gaga and Glenn Close, the field has expanded considerably. Gaga’s stock is holding firm; Close’s has sunk a bit since the soft release of The Wife.
With the SAG nominations out, the race is all the more complicated.
- Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
- Glenn Close – The Wife
- Olivia Colman – The Favourite
- Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
- Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
In the Mix:
- Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Return
- Nicole Kidman – Destroyer
- Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
- Toni Colette- Hereditary
- Viola Davis – Widows
The SAG nominations shed more light on the Oscar race than the Golden Globes do. But they are often not 1-to-1 comparisons. One must go back to 2009 to find the last time the five Best Actress SAG nominees and the Best Actress Academy Award nominees were the same. There is usually one or two differences.
This is likely a balloting concern. Although a committee of SAG members and the Academy acting branch are responsible for nominating the actors for their respective award shows, thereby allowing for overlap and consensus, those actors at the bottom of ballots could be bumped out.
This year, I suspect Emily Blunt is at the bottom of these SAG ballots. Of course, Mary Poppins Returns is a very old Academy type of movie. But if the Academy is going to award Roma in other categories, it may be hard to deny Yalitza Aparicio.
If not that, then Nicole Kidman’s performance in Destroyer is exactly what the Academy likes in a female acting performance. The Academy is weird that way: if an actor layers on makeup and prosthetics (Gary Oldman, most recently) they have a good shot at getting nominated, and if an actress does not wear makeup and changes their physical appearance they have a similarly good shot. Kidman taking on a role much different than her usual roles, one that is more grizzled, is right up the Academy’s alley.
It is a good performance, but Kidman was also snubbed outright at the SAGs.
Toni Colette was an early dark horse contender, but it does not seem likely that a film like Hereditary will get consideration in the Oscars. Her performance is great, but it was an early-year release and a genre film. Consider it unlikely.
Gaga, Close, and Colman are the locks in this category. Melissa McCarthy has the odds heavy in her favor to get the fourth spot. And that fifth spot remains questionable. Blunt and Aparicio are the likely contenders. However, the Academy could easily throw in a curveball and nominate an Academy regular (Viola Davis) or a transformative performance (Nicole Kidman) or a young talent (Elsie Fisher).
As always, thanks for reading!
Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews
Check out my page on Letterboxd
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)