1) Brie Larson, “Room”
2) Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
3) Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
4) Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
5) Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
The Best Actress category features three Oscar winners and two first-time nominees. And while the odds are in Larson’s favour for her powerful performance in Room, surprises are not out of the question.
While she always delivers a masterful performance, Cate Blanchett will surely go home empty-handed come Oscar Sunday. Loved as she is by the Academy, her recent win, as well as her contenders’ great performances, will stand in the way. It’s also worthy to point out that Carol didn’t receive the nods it was expected to, and I expect that will translate here as well.
Another Academy favourite is Jennifer Lawrence, who, in Joy, is, for the first time, nominated for a role in a film left out of the Best Picture race. The actress is the highlight of the movie, but will not be the highlight of the Oscars it seems, as she, too, is no longer in the running, despite her Golen Globe win.
Originally, it seemed like a fight between Larson and Ronan, the latter of whom steals our hearts in Brooklyn, but the surprise nomination of Rampling for her expectedly impressive work in 45 years might upset that. As much as we love Ronan, we’d still have to side with Larson on this one, though Ronan‘s chances are still quite strong.
This leaves us with our two first-time nominees, Larson and Rampling, both of whom shine in their respective roles. While my bet would be on the former winning, there’s one factor we can’t ignore: seniority. Larson, at 26, is nominated for her first Oscar in what is looking up to be a long and colourful career, with lots of chances of getting nominated again. Rampling, on the other hand, is almost 70, and has already enjoyed a long and successful career, with more fantastic films coming ahead, of course. Some would argue she is due a statuette. Are they right? I’d still disagree. Seniority, whether in the business or in life, doesn’t really decide this. Both performances are powerful and deserving. To me, one simply bests the other (and given Rampling‘s recent racist slur, I wouldn’t bet on her). And having won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards, thing are looking brighter for Larson.
Here’s how it looks so far:
Winner: Brie Larson
Possible upset: Saoirse Ronan
Honourable mention: Charlotte Rampling